A Fab Way to Burn Fat

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I hear about the “importance” of pre and post workout meals, shakes and drinks all the time but if you looking to burn fat this can be hindering your progress. 

HGH (human growth hormone) is a fat burning hormone…HGH is our homie…. During high intensity training HGH release is the goal as its presence releases Free Fatty Acids (FFA’s) into our blood stream. If you eat pre-workout you increase your insulin levels and HGH isn’t BFFs with insulin. I promise this will get easier to follow but stick with me for now.. HGH’s job is to increase free fatty acids, if your FFA’s are already elevated from your pre-workout meal then your HGH levels wont increase. Train in a fasted state and burn fat more eficently because your insuline levels are low and this is HGH’s time to shine

Okay chill I’ll just tell you what to do… 

Do your High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) for 15-30 minutes and allow HGH to peak in that hour by not eating for 30 minutes to an hour after your workout. 

If your a freak… Or just want faster results follow your HIIT workout with 15-30 minutes of low to moderate cardio. This does wonders because at this time the FFA’s are floating around in your blood stream and you can burn them off instead of letting them go back home (back into your fat cells). 

I find this works best for me first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. 

Workout plans vary from client to client so to get the best results I recommend a personalized training program. Email me for details!

 

 

Pumpkin superfood FUN!

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I’m pretty excited…. Its Fall and that means, boots, leggings, scarfs and PUMPKIN flavored everything!

This big orange beauty is a secret superfood, packed with Iron, carotene, fiber, low in calories and is extremely alkalizing. These recipes are super easy, healthy and delicious. Lets get cookin!!

Pumpkin Protein smoothie

  • ½ cup organic pumpkin puree (Trader Joe’s has a great one)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 frozen banana (optional)
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (loving Proto Whey)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • pumpkin spices (again Trader Joe’s has a great one)
  • Blend!

Pumpkin Popsicle

  • Simply pour your pumpkin smoothy mix into popsicle molds and freeze. Freakin good!!

Pumpkin Soup

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups unsalted vegetable broth
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • spice to taste

Cook the onion in about 1/4 water until tender. Add all other ingredients until soups at a desired temp. So easy!

Pumpkin Muffins

  • 1½ cups almond flour
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw honey (optional)
  • 2 tsp almond butter
  • pumpkin spices

Coat muffin pan with coconut oil cooking spray and bake at 350 for 25 minutes on middle rack. You can even replace some or all of the almond flour with protein powder. Such a good treat with zero guilt! 

Eat up!!

Eating in Real Life while Keeping in Tight

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Us ladies have it a little tougher than men when it comes to eating and keeping trim. The sad truth is, we don’t have as much wiggle room as men do when the extra calories creep up. Main stream nutrition advise seems to steer women to eat more frequent, smaller meals, I cant help but disagree. Now, this isnt to say that six small meals cant work, it absoutly can. I find that when triming the meals down to 3-4 meals per day you can actaully sit down and eat a full meal that leaves you feeling satisfied. The ‘eating every 2 to 3 hours’ approach to dieting works wonders for the 250+ pound bodybuilders, for us ladies it could put us in weight gain mode real quick. Why is it that trainers and nutritionist give the same diet stratagies to a man looking to pack on the muscle as they do to a woman looking to get teeny tiny? 

Research has shown that meal frequency makes little difference in weight loss. Also short term fasts actually increase HGH levels (natural fat burning hormone). This means eating less frequently can actually improve your fat burning potential. What I love most about this is that we can live like normal human beings! Hang out on the beach with your girls for hours without worrying about gaining weight because your in “starvation mode”. This also makes it easier to eat during the holidays and special events. Budgeting your calories will help you maintain, or lose weight. When you know your going to have a big dinner or event simply plan ahead. For example if your shooting for 1400 calories per day and you want to budget for a 2000 calorie day, simply eat 1100 calories for 2 days before. 

Reach your goal, maintain and live life!!! If you find your weight creeping up simply cut calories, eat a boat load of greens, lean protein and get back on track.

No one wants to live life on a constant diet, so0o0o dont! 

 

Extreme Diet | Extreme Results

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Every now and then life catches up to you and its caught me! I have been having so much fun this summer eating and drinking pretty much whatever I want. Weekends away with girlfriends, cooking and eating with my family and the inevitable ‘love chub’ that comes along with having the best boyfriend in the world. So0o0o0o its time to get back on track! For me, and many others, it takes a jump start to get back into a healthy eating routine so thats exactly what I’m doing, a jump start diet and a new workout routine. The diet I’m starting is not to be done for more than 2 weeks at a time and its NOT easy BUT if you want to drop body fat quickly, this is the fastest way to do so. If your interested in kick starting your diet and or getting ready for a special event here’s how you get started:

-eat 6 to 8 calories per pound of your target weight

- eat 0.7 grams of protein per pounds of your current weight

- the rest of your calories will be from mostly green veggies

-take a whole food multi vitamin and Omega-3 fish oil gel tablet 

- 2 shots of apple cider vinegar per day

WARNING: This diet is NOT for everyone. Its extremely low calorie and very hard to stick to. The upside is that you will experience fast and extreme results. 

What you’ll need:

-Willpower!

-Lean protein: chicken breast, egg whites, lean beef, lean turkey and protein powder. 

-All green veggies, except Avocado :(

-Lemon juice, lime juice, spices, salsa and mustard

You can eat as many times a day as you prefer. On a diet this low in calories I think its easiest to go for about 3 to 4 meals per day.

Sample day:

Meal 1: Green protein shake: Protein, spinach, water, ice

Meal 2: Large green salad with boiled chicken breast, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar

Meal 3: Grilled veggies with lean beef strips and salsa

Meal 4: Green protein shake

Doesn’t sound so bad does it? You would be surprised how many calories you save by cutting out fats and carbs!

So excited to see these results!! Next post will be about eating in the real world. Good luck!! 

Lose Weight with Apple Cider Vinigar

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The nutrition benefits and many uses of Apple cider Vinegar and endless but for now lets talk about weight loss! When are bodies are given the tools to function properly we have an extreme advantage when it comes to weight loss/ decreasing body fat. The nutrients, enzymes, and organic acids in apple cider vinegar decrease body fat by acting as an appetite suppressant, increasing your body’s metabolic rate, reducing water retention, and most importantly it helps to alkaline your body. At this point your either thinking…. ‘Duh, I know that’, ‘Ew no way im drinking something that smalls like feet!’ or best of all ‘Hell yea!! How do I start!?’

For the ‘hell yea’ers’ out there, here are a few ways to suck it down:

1- Take it like a man! Take a shot glass, put your ACV in and shoot it! Its good to follow it with a chaser of warm water to aid in the digestion.

2- Take a tbl spoon, or 2 before every meal, add it to your salad or steamed and/or raw veggies (so0o0o good on cucumber!).

3- Make a cocktail! One of my favorite ways to suck it down is to blend ACV with water, ice, tbl spoon of honey or grade B maple syrup, (or stevia if watching your sugar) and fresh squeezed lemon. Its Actually good, I promise!

Make SURE that its raw, unfiltered and organic!

Cheers!!

baked SPAGHETTI squash yummmmm

This has been the staple of my favorite low calorie meal this fall. Actually, no. This have just been the staple of my favorite meal this fall period! Whether your into the low calorie deal or not you will love some of the amazing recipes you can make with this versatile superfood. Image

Basic instructions: 

Pierce holes in the skin of the squash

Bake for 1 hour on 375

Slice in half, spoon out the seeds in the center and dispose (careful its HOT!)

Scrape out the spaghetti like squash!! so0o0o easy :)

After that the options are endless!! I have been enjoying my spaghetti squash with a basic tomato sauce but you can really get creative on your recipes. One of my absolute favorites is to mix the spaghetti squash with your favorite sauce, put back into the shell of the squash (or skin) and bake for another 10 minutes. Not only is it delicious it looks pretty too! 

Featured Nutrients: Carotene, folic acid, potassium, fiber, vitamin C, B1, B3, B5 & B6

Coco for Coconut Oil!

I love love love coconuts! the Meat, the milk, the water, the butter and my FAVORITE, the coconut oil.
Not all fat is created equal. Virgin coconut oil is composed of medium-chain-length fatty acids which have some awesome health benefits! Cococnut oil is has been proven to raise the body’s metabolism (SCORE!), and has a antibacterial effect. This miracle ingredient is my favorite oil to cook with but what I love even more is to use it on my skin and hair.
My girlfriends think I’m crazy but I literally don’t use face wash or expensive creams. I use coconut oil to take off my makeup, wash my face and to moisturize my skin and hair. Since I have started this regime my skin has been at its very best. Coconut oil is also an amazing exfoliant when mixed with cane sugar, sea salt or even baking soda. so not only will you love your skin on coconut your bank account will too! It’s amazing how much we spend on beauty products that contain chemicals that pollute our skin when all we need is a bit of mother nature!
There are a bizzzillion ways to use coconut oil here are some of my Faves:
Make up remover: Simply rub into your skin and wipe off with a towel, repeat as needed.
Face wash and face cream: Rub into your skin and remove dirt and oil with a towel repeat as needed and leave a little on to mosturize. At night I leave a bit more on than I would during the day. I love the dewy look but if you use too much on your face durring the day you may look greasy :/
Exfoliant: Mix with cane sugar, sea salt or even baking soda and use on your face and body.
De-Frizzer: rub a small amount into the ends of your hair, use the same way you would use Moroccan oil or any de-frizz products for a fraction of the cost.
Overnight hair mask: Rub from top to bottom of your locks and into your scalp, wrap in a towel. wash as normal the next morning. Your hair will love you.
Have fun!!

Flab tummy’s are made in the kitchen

Thats right… Im a trainer and workout freak (which I’m trying hard to change). I would never recommend a client of mine work out more than 60 minutes 5 days a week so why do I do it? Pushing ourselves might make us feel better short term but its actually hindering our progression in more ways than one. I’m learning to be kinder and gentler on my body and guess what? I feel amazing! sometimes its okay to ease off the gas. I found the perfect article explaining just that on one of my fave sites, http://www.mindbodygreen.com.

Enjoy!

Why Exercise and Burning Calories Won’t Help You Lose Weight

The veil has been lifted on the fat free craze (thank you Michael Pollan), fad diets are losing steam (bye bye South Beach Diet, hello natural foods), and now it’s time to tackle the exercise myth. Working out, sweating your body weight, pushing yourself, and burning calories, whether it’s at the gym or yoga studio, DOES NOT lead to weight loss. Pushing, burning, and sweating often actually leads to WEIGHT GAIN. Screech! What? Hold the phone, right?!

Let’s examine what you practice and what’s going on in your body and mind. Pushing yourself at any activity builds tension in your body, along with the associated stress cocktail in your brain. Tension in your mind leads to lots of tense habits and activities. Let’s be honest, does this internal dialogue sound familiar: “Man, this is tough, gritting my teeth, ugh, I hate my body, I hate where I am right now, I hate what I did last night, if only I could do this pose or spin faster or run faster, I could make up for it and achieve all my goals!” That type of dialogue causes stress. You start holding your breath, and a whole lot of not-so-nice stuff happens in the physiology of your body. Don’t worry. No judgments here. It’s internal dialogue, so no one can actually hear your self-deprecating thoughts.  But you know they are there!

It’s ok. We should talk about it, because it’s a super common behavior, and no one is talking about it. If we do shed light on what’s going on in our minds and bodies when we’re exerting physical effort, we can begin to choose how we are, in a way that creates what we want. This will be a big step up from getting caught in the hamster wheel of making up for (or punishing ourselves for) unhealthy behavior, and the misinformation that tags along about calorie burning and fat blasting.

We get good at what we practice. If we practice responding to stress with aggression – whether it’s in the gym, on the track, or in the yoga studio – we get good at aggression. We’ll relate aggressively, work aggressively, eat aggressively, generally without noticing – because we’ve practiced it so much! We might burn some calories along the way, but no way it will ever match up to what we can eat and drink, long before we begin to notice how our bodies feel and what we need to be healthy.

Here’s the thing: if exercise doesn’t change how we eat for the better, it will never ever lead to weight loss and a healthy body. In particular, if our way of exercising is aggressive, pushing, forcing, we’ll just build tension and carry it through the rest of our lives. We’ll eat aggressively, mindlessly, without the self-connection that’s our best road to being healthy. And there’s no amount of fat-blasting and calorie-burning in our lives that ever comes close to correcting what the wrong foods can do to us.

Tension in the brain leads to tense habits. Eating for reward, emotional eating, and over-eating to “get through the tough workout” all come from tension in our minds and bodies, rather than ease. When you practice tense, you reinforce tense. If you love your form of exercise, whether it’s spinning, running, yoga, hiking, dancing, whatever, that enjoyment is causing a different cocktail of chemicals in your brain, that lead you in the direction of treating yourself well. Doing what you love leads you to happiness and good health. Activities that make you feel free, connected, calm and capable reinforce habits that keep creating the same feelings. Activities that make you feel anxious, stressed, and not good enough also lead to reinforcing habits. The activity itself doesn’t matter. What matters is how you feel about it. How you practice is most important.

Yoga is NOT the magic wonder drug, and I’m not yoga’s agent. I’m for everyone discovering ways to connect with themselves, and find the space to create their own best lives. I see plenty of people who walk into Strala and grit their teeth through the entire class, as if it’s one more task to get through. It’s so unnecessary. You can do hard things easily. It’s actually possible and everyone can do it. Life doesn’t have to be tense. Yoga doesn’t have to be tense. When you move with ease, whether you’re attempting a handstand, running 10 miles, negotiating a business deal, or talking with a friend, your brain has space to flow in creativity and intuition. Sounds like meditation? When you exist in ease, every moment in your life becomes meditative and space has a chance to enter. You have room to breathe, room to release tension, room to create yourself healthy and happy. When you’re in this space you begin to expand and see beyond each moment. You become yourself. You’re able to make good decisions, be in the zone, and allow room for synchronicity. Your life heads in the right direction when you give it space. When you squash it with tension, well, it gets squashed.

So what happens when things aren’t so healthy? When you move through the activities of your life tense, the brain has no space. You end up moving without understanding, seeing or feeling you. You find your way into tension-related activities, like over-eating, drinking alcohol, or yelling at a cab driver. It’s much nicer to feel expansive and connected to yourself. When you’re feeling this way, you are back to your natural state,happy and free. Sounds nice right? You can do it! We all can live in happiness and feeling good. It’s a practice of cultivating ease.

You can practice tense or you can practice with ease. Practice ease during challenging and simple movements alike. If you practice tense, say jumping into handstands and forcing yourself into poses that your body isn’t able to do easily (ease comes with practice!), you will wind up more tense than when you started. This leads to tense eating habits, most likely reward and over-eating habits. Of course it’s a practice. Getting to easy is a practice and probably isn’t always perfect. With yoga, and any other activity in life, we have the opportunity to observe without judgment, and then do something about it.

Of course physical activity is good for you. It can be fantastic for your mood, energy, range of motion, shape and tone of your body, breathing capabilities and more. Keep exercising! Just understand that – despite a large volume of persistent outdated information – exercise on its own has very little to do with weight loss. How you live has to do with weight loss. How you handle stress, how you practice calm connection to yourself, has to do with the life and health you’re able to create.

You are what you eat. Now we come down to what you are actually putting in your body. Food rules. Food is fuel, it shapes our body, it determines our health, our energy levels, and our liveliness. If your exercise isn’t helping you dial your eating habits to fresh, simple, natural, whole, inspired, colorful foods, lots of water, not so much on the booze, and easy on the caffeine, you might want to take a second look at how you feel about your exercise routine. Are you doing ____ (insert yoga, spinning, running, dancing, etc) to burn calories, or are you doing it to feel great in your body, improve your mood, and feel vibrant? Are you doing it to correct a bunch of mis-steps, or because you love it? When you find a routine that makes you feel vibrant, and offers up a stream of new challenges to explore and enjoy, simmer in that. It will have a very positive impact on your overall health, and your waist line.

The 20 instructions for our happy lives

1.Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three R’s:
-  Respect for self,
-  Respect for others and
-  Responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship.
7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and
think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
19. If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
20. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

taken from: Life’s Little Instruction Book by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

I LOVE coffee!! and its okay :)

I just love it when I read good things about coffee because the truth is I LOVE coffee! As with all else, moderation is key, but  there’s no reason to feel guilty about your your morning cup of joe (with out the cream and sugar of course!). I enjoy mine with a bit of cinnamon and stevia yummmm!

Why It’s Okay to Love Coffee

One of my favorite daily activities is waking up early and enjoying a hot cup of black coffee. At times, people seem surprised that coffee is part of my morning routine, but the truth is that coffee offers many health benefits.
According to a WebMD interview with Dr. Peter Martin, Psychiatry/Pharmacology Expert at the Vanderbilt University of Medicine, coffee consumption reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and has been shown to reduce mortality rates from heart attacks.
The positives don’t end there. Sipping that morning cup of joe provides the following benefits as well:
  • Coffee is high in antioxidants and has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body.
  • Coffee has been shown to have a protective effect on the liver. According to a study conducted by Arthur Klasky, MD, of the Kaiser Permanente’s Division of Research, coffee drinking reduces the risk of liver damage in people at high risk for liver disease.
  •  Last, but certainly not least, coffee is good for your brain. In their book, The Happiness Diet, Tyler Graham and Dr. Drew Ramsey state that coffee is “proven to improve memory and reflexes.” Coffee consumption has also been shown to reduce the risk of developing dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and depression, as well as increase mental focus and alertness. One slang term for coffee is brain juice!
Tips:
  • Quality does matter. Select organic coffee, as non-organic coffee beans are often sprayed with pesticides.
  • Don’t load your coffee with cream, sugar and other products that are bad for your health.
  • Be aware of your own health and wellness. Coffee does not agree with everyone and can have undesirable effects, such as irritability and stomach upset, for some people.
  • Coffee’s liver benefits should not give people a green light to engage in behaviors that cause damage to the liver such as heavy drinking. Obviously.