Protect Yourself From These Common Sports-Related Injuries
Getting in enough physical exercise is important for our health. Yet, whether that physical activity involves working out at the gym or participating in sports, it’s important not to overdo it. Pushing yourself can lead to common, yet painful injuries. Being aware of ways to avoid these injuries can help you stay safe, while pursuing your fitness or sports goals.
These types of injuries are more common in competitive team sports and include everything from traumatic brain injuries to incidences of TMJ. Trauma to the jaw or skull is generally responsible for swelling or a fracture of the bone of the skull in both these types of injuries. That’s why regulations for contact sports, such as football or hockey, set guidelines for wearing face and head protection. While some types of sports don’t require this type of protection, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a risk of a head injury. For instance, TBI incidences are still common in sports like basketball and soccer, even though the players don’t wear helmets or mouth guards. In any physically active sport, it’s wise to consider wearing a helmet or similar protection to protect your face and head.
When the neck becomes misaligned, it can cause pain that won’t seem to go away, but this isn’t necessarily due to an injury. In fact, it can begin in the office, while you’re working at you desk. Your neck becomes misaligned through poor posture, but the pain can really intensify later, when you hit the gym. It can become a bigger problem as you lay on the weight bench, if you don’t ensure your neck and upper back are fully supported against the pad. Doing lifts that force you to raise your hands over your head can really aggravate the condition. To strengthen these muscles, do reverse shrugs with the lateral pull down bar, adjusting the weight to a comfortable level. Just pull the bar down to 3-4 inches in front of you.
This is a common injury at the gym, especially with those who don’t practice a proper form. Like the neck, the back relies on proper posture and, when it doesn’t get that support, it can cause a strain in the lower back. A sharp pain, while doing squats can be an indication that you’ve put a strain on your back. To prevent this type of strain, practice working with your neutral back posture, before you begin lifting or doing squats. By laying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, you can experience your natural posture. Get comfortable with this posture, before advancing your workout.
These a tiny, hairline cracks in the bones of the lower legs, shins, and feet. Generally, they are caused by performing a repetitive motion too excessively, or they can be caused by overexertion. Symptoms of stress fractures include sharp, shooting pain in the foot and shins, making it difficult to walk. Jumping, running, walking, and even standing still can cause the pain to grow worse and the area around the shin and ankle may swell. To prevent stress fractures, start slowly and increase the intensity of your workouts gradually. Each week, you can boost your workout safely by 10%, giving your body time to adjust and build muscle.
This is common in every sport, among runners, and also in gym workouts. This often happens when you’re running and not paying attention to your footing. A misstep can cause your foot to twist beneath you, bending the ankle in an awkward position. The best way to prevent sprains is to run or jog on flat, even surfaces. If you’re on the treadmill, don’t forget to wear the clip that will stop the machine if you lose your balance. Outdoors, try to stay on concrete when running, as natural trails may be uneven and littered with branches and rocks.
Staying safe is important during any physical activity. To that end, be sure to wear the proper protective equipment and follow safety guidelines for that activity. While getting a good workout is your goal, overdoing it can lead to accidents and injuries that may leave you sidelined.
Nowadays, everyone seems in a hurry to live. But when you stop for a moment and look at the bigger picture, you will see that being in complete agreement with yourself is crucial for true happiness. Fortunately, mind-body balance is best achieved by healthy lifestyle practices, which have other amazing benefits as well. Follow these 5 Major Pillars of a Fully Balanced Body and Mind Through Fitness and discover the importance of living a healthy balanced lifestyle!
Living in a total state of both inner and outer equilibrium is the key towards a successful existence. To help you accomplish this, here are the five major pillar of a fully balanced body and mind through fitness.
It’s no secret that what you eat is reflected both inside and out. For this reason, maintaining an appropriate diet is the most important principle of a balanced lifestyle. And to achieve this, you need to first and foremost rely solely on natural, organic ingredients. Therefore, fresh produce and free-range meats need to become a staple in your kitchen.
In addition, never forget the importance of regular interval meals. Although many people believe that you should eat three meals a day consisting of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the reality is a bit more different. It is indeed important to have three meals, but you can also have four or five smaller ones too. As long as they’re at the same time each day, you’re set.
Furthermore, your meal plan needs to be in tune with your exercise routine. For example, if indoor cycling is your workout of choice, you need to find out more on what to eat before spin class so that you balance your physical activity with your nutrient intake. In the same way, if you’re a weightlifting enthusiast, that should reflect on your plate.
Drinking plenty of water is essential in the field of fitness, and it is also a direct companion of any healthy diet. Hydration is important because it regulates all your bodily functions. It helps eliminate waste and toxins through urine and perspiration, it lubricates your musculoskeletal system, it promotes tissue elasticity and it maintains a steady core temperature.
Thus, the perfect mind-body balance cannot exist without it. Depending on your gender, age, height, and weight, you should ideally drink 2 to 4 liters of the stuff daily so that your well-being is preserved at all times. Generally, the average woman needs a 2.7-liter daily intake, while men should drink as much as 3.7 liters to support themselves.
Although it’s true that diet lies at the base of any balanced lifestyle and is a focal point of reaching any fitness goal, let’s not forget about exercising. Regular workouts are also an essential part of finding the middle ground between your body and your mind. But how can you find something that you enjoy that also promotes your interior equilibrium?
According to Harvard Medical School, a good way to approach this is by having a go at Eastern-influenced physical activities that are both engaging and soothing at the same time. Yoga is perhaps the number one choice, but you can also choose the path less traveled and practice tai chi or qigong. Classic standing balance exercises are also an amazing alternative.
An essential part of your routine has to do with duration. Exercise for too long and you’ll be left feeling completely drained. On the other side of the issue, if you don’t do it enough, you won’t see any progress. Determine what the best timing is for you and your personal needs. A personal trainer can help you with that if you need further assistance.
There is a common misconception that toning and slimming down-related objectives are achieved through imposing limitations, undertaking the most difficult exercises, restricting what you eat and monitoring everything closely. While there is some truth to that, the most important part of the entire journey is actually ensuring that you feel good.
Not feeling pressured in any way keeps up your motivation, which in turn is beneficial to how much you engage with your workout routine. After all, the key to keeping balance and reaching goals is not what you do, but how well you do it. So, what are you waiting for? Throw your scale into the garbage and focus on what you’re experiencing.
At the end of the day, true balance needs to start with you. But paying attention to these practices is something that will surely further you down the path towards progress. And when you also manage to stay fit in the process, it’s a win on all sides. All you need is a little ambition and a lot of self-confidence.
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Healthy meals seem like a great idea until you realize how little time you have. One of the most common misconceptions regarding healthy eating is how much time it takes and how much money it costs to eat a healthy meal, but it’s simply not the case. You can eat a quick, healthy meal in a matter of minutes if you take the time to learn a few helpful tricks and tips. It’s easier than you think, you don’t need a lot of additional time, and you might even be surprised you never thought of these ideas yourself.
Pre-Plan Your Menus
If you want to spend some time making healthy meals at home, it’s a lot faster when your menu is pre-planned and you have everything on hand. When you know in advance what you’re cooking all week, you get to go to the store and pick up what you need. When you have what you need on hand, you’re more likely to go through with cooking.
For example, if you want to make a healthy salad with grilled chicken one night but you don’t have the vegetables to make the salad, you have to stop by the store on your way home that day. It takes more time, your meal feels like a bigger effort, and you’re less likely to want to stop, get out of the car, and actually take that time. If you have everything at home already, you go right home and cook your dinner.
Consider Meal Delivery
The best about meal delivery is you can opt for a healthy food delivery service. Most all of the meal delivery programs available right now have healthy options for people to choose from, and you can get everything you need delivered to you at home one day a week so it’s all there. The menu is already chosen for you, the food is right there, and you made no effort. You didn’t make a list. You don’t do any shopping, and you just cook the meal according to the instructions. It’s easy, and it’s a wonderful alternative to fast food on a busy week.
The other bonus about delivery services is most companies don’t lock you in. You’re not required to order every week if you’re on vacation, you don’t love the available menu options, and so on. You get to pick and choose the weeks you want food delivered, and that makes your life a lot simpler.
Think of Healthy Alternatives to Your Favorites
There are some meals that might not be so healthy, but they are quick and easy. For example, you can make spaghetti in no time, but it might not be as healthy as you’d like. Try subbing your pasta for whole wheat or veggie pasta or even spaghetti squash. Use homemade tomatoes to make your tomato sauce so it’s a bit healthier. Instead of using ground beef, use ground turkey in your spaghetti. Skip the garlic bread and have a healthy salad on the side.
Instead of eating buffalo chicken wraps, make yourself a Caesar salad, grill some chicken, and wrap it up in a whole wheat wrap for a healthier take on your favorite foods. If you love cheeseburgers, make them with ground turkey, a little grilled pineapple and green pepper on top, and wrap them in large romaine leaves. It’s healthier, it’s easier, and it’s delicious.
If you can find time to create a few healthy menu items that don’t take much time to cook, you might find yourself more willing to eat healthier. It’s all about the time you spend in the kitchen and the effort it takes. If you can find a way to get past your mental blocks about healthy eating, you might find it’s a lot quicker and more affordable than you imagined.
Kale or borecole is a member of the cabbage family and it is called a superfood for a reason. This leafy veggie is a nutritional powerhouse that has been on our plates since the Roman times and nowadays it is more popular than ever! Packed with minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, kale has almost everything you need to stay healthy and fit. It has more iron than beef and more calcium than milk. What’s more, kale is very low in calories and fat but high in fiber.
So you know kale is super healthy and want to have it on your plate but don’t really know how. Here are some tasty, fun and easy ways to include kale in your diet!
The importance of warm–up exercises should be considered by anybody who works out. Although warm–ups probably won’t help much with burning calories or building muscle, they’re crucial to the success of a workout! Before you even think about running or using the machines at the gym, you ought to make sure you complete a warm up and do a few stretches – but what makes them so important?
A good warm-up will raise your body temperature, which is particularly helpful to your muscles. As your muscle temperature increases, oxygen becomes more available to your muscles, allowing them to contract and relax more easily – so you’ll be able to perform more strenuous tasks with ease. Your heart is also given a chance to prepare, meaning it won’t be too strained during your workout.
The last thing you need when you’ve been faithfully attending the gym and reaching your goals is to become injured. Warming up will improve muscle elasticity and allow for efficient cooling, meaning less chance of accidentally hurting yourself or overheating during your workout and ruining your day!
Jumping straight into a workout without being adequately prepared can throw you off completely, especially if the preparation is mental rather than physical. It’s easy to give up when working out gets difficult, but you’ll be much less likely to do so if you’ve given yourself time to remember why you’re working out. Use your time warming up to think about what you’re about to do, guaranteeing that both your body and mind will be ready to succeed.
Stretching is often considered something that should be done in addition to regular warm–ups. Stretching will increase blood flow to your muscles, and allow your body to increase its flexibility in both the short and long-term – always a plus when it comes to properly performing a workout. Stretch after you’ve already completed your warm up, as stretching when your muscles aren’t properly warm can lead to injury.
Using machines to help build muscle is a great way to spend your time at the gym, but they shouldn’t be used before you’ve had a chance to loosen your joints! Warming up will ensure that both your body and mind are in the right state to handle gym equipment, again reducing your risk of injury.
As well as a good warm-up, workout preparation should also involve ensuring that you have suitable equipment for the exercises you’ll be doing. Crossfit, for example, can be enhanced by the use of accessories; particularly helpful for its Workouts of the Day are resistance bands and palm guards.
Popular warm-up exercises you might like to try include jogging on the spot for several minutes, cycling, or even simply performing your workout at a much slower pace to prepare your body. For your stretches, try static stretching, which involves stretching a muscle slowly and holding it in place for up to thirty seconds.
The benefits of warming up are evident, and warm ups will help you to achieve your goals at the gym; it’s therefore clear that warm-up exercises should not be overlooked by gymgoers at any level. Once you’ve prepared your body and mind and done some stretching, you’ll be ready to make the most of your workout!
Kefir is a unique fermented beverage that contains probiotics and other nutrients that are beneficial for many things, such as improved digestion and immunity, weight control, and building lean muscle mass. While most kefir products are cow, goat, or sheep milk based, there are 3 basic types of kefir: dairy milk kefir, coconut milk kefir, and water kefir. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on the dairy milk kefirs and how you can benefit from drinking these after a workout.
Kefir is similar in taste to yogurt, only in a drinkable form. It contains many of the same beneficial bacteria as yogurt, but it is thinner in consistency and contains almost no lactose. Lactose is the naturally occurring sugar in milk.
Kefir is made by fermenting the milk kefir grains. These aren’t actually grains at all. They are gelatinous masses that have different types of bacteria and beneficial yeast mixed in with milk proteins that are capable of fermentation at room temperature. The grains are removed from the milk and can be used to make a fresh batch of kefir, similar to how sourdough starter is repurposed. The end product is a very digestible dairy beverage that is loaded with beneficial bacteria, also known as probiotics.
In addition to the beneficial probiotics, dairy kefir is a good source of protein and essential amino acids. 1 cup of kefir contains approximately 10 grams of protein. The whey protein in dairy products helps your muscles to recover after exercising, according to a 2011 review in The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. The type of protein in kefir, casein, is a slower digesting protein. This may help your muscles to synthesize the protein for longer durations of time, thus promoting muscle growth.
Kefir also contains magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D. Magnesium and calcium together are essential for maintaining a healthy and calm central nervous system. This is beneficial for regulation after intense cardio workouts. Calcium and vitamin D together are necessary for bone health, according to The National Institutes of Health. Strength and resistance training, followed by drinking kefir will benefit your bones.
The B vitamins, including B12, are abundant in kefir. B12 is a natural energy booster. If your workout is intense, zapping your energy, you would do well to have a glass of kefir to restore energy, rather than reaching for a sugary energy drink.
After working out, you might feel famished and want to reach for a high-sugar, high-carb snack to get a quick, but temporary, recharge. This might make you feel good for a short period of time, but it will spike your blood glucose levels unnaturally with pretty empty calories. It won’t satiate you like healthy lean meals with plenty of protein and fresh produce will. You will be hungry again very quickly and may find yourself eating more than you need to.
If time is limited, and sitting down to a meal isn’t possible, consider having a nutritious smoothie made with kefir and fresh fruit. The Harvard School of Public Health noted in 2014 that “full-fat dairy may help control weight because it promotes more of a feeling of satiety and the fatty acids in full-fat dairy may help with weight regulation”.
While the newest diet trends for building strong bodies and controlling weight are leaning more toward eliminating grains, sugar, legumes, and dairy, there is some hard evidence that the protein, probiotics, and other nutrients found in fermented dairy may be the exception to current thinking. Chris Kresser, LAc, a leading authority on Paleo nutrition, refers to kefir as the “not-quite-Paleo-superfood”.
The next time you finish an intense cross-training workout, a boot camp session, circuit training, or whatever you enjoy, try drinking some kefir for muscle repair, satiety, bone health, and an energy boost. Be mindful of how you feel compared to having an energy drink or a high-carb snack.
At some point everyone faces setbacks on the road to fitness. While it is easy to beat yourself up about missing a workout or hitting a weight loss plateau, it is important to keep moving forward. To get back on track, use these tips that will help you forget that you ever experienced a setback.
Start by taking a second look at your goals to make sure you didn’t set standards too high and overwhelm yourself. You can eventually hit your goals if you break loftier goals into smaller ones that give you a sense of achievement. If you have recently experienced an injury or new health condition, then it is important to alter your goals to fit your current level of physical health.
Once you have your goals set, it is time to start thinking about the future. Professional athletes utilize visualization techniques to hone their focus before competitions and you can use this same method to increase your motivation. Whether you are looking to finish a marathon or need to master that complicated gymnastics routine, spend a few minutes each day visualizing what you want to happen.
Having goals is important and sharing them with others helps to keep you accountable. Let your coach or best friend know what you are attempting to accomplish. Alternatively, you can create a social media post or start a blog detailing your journey. Whatever method you choose, make sure to keep the people involved updated, and invite them to ask you about your achievements along the way.
People often get frustrated when they don’t feel like they are seeing the effects of their workouts on their body. Instead of getting stuck ruminating on a scale that won’t move or your inability to lift that certain amount of weight, try to see that each workout builds your stamina along with improving your mental health. That elevated mood you get after a strenuous workout is just as important as looking amazing in your swimsuit.
Boredom is a big reason for fitness setbacks, and losing motivation means that it is time to change up your routine. As you plan for changes, try to come up with ideas that are completely different for your normal routine but that will increase your skills. For example, a football kicker might take dance lessons to fine tune their kicking skills while still enjoying a cardio workout. Alternatively, a swimmer might go for a long run to increase their stamina. Just doing something out of your normal routine will kick start a positive attitude making your regular workouts more interesting.
While it might be tempting to go out for a luxurious restaurant meal after winning that marathon, it is important to stick to healthy rewards. Giving yourself little markers for your achievements helps improve your motivation while reinforcing positive behaviors. Consider giving yourself something fun like a stadium blanket with your favorite team’s logo, or you could get some new gear such as running shoes. Either way, rewarding yourself sends signals to your brain that will keep you wanting to achieve even more.
Remembering why you care about fitness is as simple as watching others who also pursue a healthy lifestyle. Take a break from your regular workouts, and go watch a professional or high school sports team in your field of expertise. From catching a football game to enjoying a gymnastics competition, watching others playing at their peak performance will help you renew your determination to hit your fitness goals.
It’s possible that you have been focusing too much on your workouts and not enough on how much fun physical fitness is when you add some friends. Get your friends or teammates together and head to the park for a game of soccer. Alternatively, you could schedule a weekly jog with a friend. Even walking with another group of moms as a stroller group turns a mundane workout into an uplifting experience, and having someone depending upon you to show up helps keep you accountable.
Changes in your routine are another common reason for setbacks that are easily correctable. Getting sick, having a baby or starting a new job are all potential hindrances to your normal workout schedule, and it is possible that you just need to change it up. Think about what happened before you got off track, and see where changing your workout schedule might help. For example, you may just need to get up an hour earlier in the morning instead of doing your jog at night. Once you set your schedule keep in mind that flexibility is still important. On days when you can’t stick to your routine, have a backup plan such as breaking your workouts up into smaller chunks so that they are more manageable.
Talk to any professional athlete, and they will tell you that setbacks happen to everyone. The important thing is to not let it deter you from accomplishing your goals. While you can’t take back the time that you have lost, you can take control over the future by implementing these strategies for getting back on track. By renewing your focus and adjusting your workout routine as needed, you will be able to accomplish every one of your fitness goals.
Oh, exercise. We all know that we should do it, we all understand its benefits and yet so many of us struggle to make it a daily part of our lives. It’s not necessarily because we’re lazy; rather, we all deal with mental roadblocks that keep us from lacing up our gym shoes and hitting the jogging path.
If you struggle to find the motivation to hit the gym, don’t sweat it. (Pun intended!) Instead, use these eight motivational methods to help yourself to get into a better mindset to make exercise a regular part of your life.
1. Visualize Your Goals
There’s no shame in physical changes being a huge motivator for you to workout. Plenty of people exercise primarily for aesthetic reasons. This is why it can be useful to visualize what you would like to look like. Whether that’s an older version of yourself or a popular Instagram fitness model, there’s nothing wrong with focusing on what you would like your end goal to resemble.
2. “Just Do It”
Nike didn’t come up with this phrase randomly. The concept of “just doing it” can be incredibly helpful when you’re trying to get into a fitness mindset. If the idea of hitting the gym feels overwhelming, then just get up off the couch and go for a walk around the block. You’ll have done something, which is better than doing nothing.
3. Write Out Your Intentions
Putting pen to paper can be a great way to make your goals seem more real. It’s a good idea to sit down and actually write out an exercise schedule that you’d like to follow. Try not to plan for too much too soon. If you’ve been a couch potato, don’t start out with a full week of difficult boot-camp classes.
4. Consider The Non-Body Benefits
Sure, a lot of us workout because we want that swimsuit body. But there are other benefits to fitness, such as combatting depression and addiction. For example, many facilities offering sober living in Los Angeles advocate fitness as part of therapy. If the physical results aren’t enough to motivate you, focus on the other benefits of exercise. Addiction Helper states “Taking up a sport will keep you active and healthy and will ensure that you always have something to do. Team sports will also mean meeting new people, which is an added bonus. That is why sports plays a massive part in the recovery process fro recovering addicts.”
5. Stop Focusing On The Scale
Focusing on the scale can be frustrating and discouraging. After all, our weights fluctuate and you rarely see quick results at the beginning of a new fitness regimen. Instead, try focusing on athletic achievements. For example, if you can only run a mile, keep training until you can run two miles. Focusing on your accomplishments instead of your weight can be far more motivating.
6. Reward Yourself For Accomplishing Goals
No, we’re not talking about rewarding yourself with pizza or beer. Instead, promise yourself a non-food treat if you stick to your fitness schedule for a month. A great reward would be a new dress or suit, which you’ll probably need if you’ve stuck to your program.
7. Recruit A Friend
If you’re trying to meet fitness goals, odds are one of your friends is as well. Recruit a like-minded buddy to be a source of motivation, inspiration and accountability. The two of you can keep each other on track and help one another to stay motivated.
8. When You Fail, Get Back On The Horse
So many people beat them+selves up when they miss a day of working out. While it’s great to stick to your fitness goals, keep in mind that even professional athletes occasionally skip a day. If you miss a day of working out or fall off of your set schedule, don’t beat yourself up. This is bad for motivation and bad for your morale. Instead, just pledge to get back on that horse the next day.
Exercise isn’t just beneficial to our bodies, it’s beneficial to our minds and overall senses of wellness. If you use these tips, you can stay motivated and stay on track as you work to accomplish your fitness goals. Remember that getting in shape is a marathon, not a sprint. Pace yourself and eventually you’ll get to where you want to be.
Each year on New Year’s day, thousands of Canadians clad in nothing but bathings suits and take the “polar plunge” into the freezing English Bay to celebrate the start of a new year. In the Netherlands, more than 10,000 people do the same, collectively diving into the icy cold waters of Scheveningen in swimsuits, mittens, and hats. The United Kingdom has a similar tradition, the “Loony Dook” where over 1,000 participants parade through the streets of South Queensferry, Scotland dressed in crazy clothing before plunging into the freezing sea.
Places across the United States are even catching onto this tradition, with annual events held in states like Washington, Colorado, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Minnesota. And while the thought of plunging into below-freezing water in the middle of winter might seem insane to you, you might think twice after learning just how good ice water is for your body. From gulping down glasses of the stuff to soaking in an ice water tub, experts have discovered that classic, cold H2O actually benefits the body much more than we ever thought.
As a health and fitness enthusiast, you’ll find these four cold water perks particularly interesting.
Do you feel like you suffer from a lack of hydration while exercising or that you tend to burn-out quicker than you used to? Switch to chilled water instead of warm or room-temperature water. Experts at Columbia University recommend cold water for athletes that exercise vigorously, as it helps lower your body’s core temperature to a normal range, which allows you to last longer and burn more calories during your workout. Studies have also shown that the human stomach absorbs drinking water that’s been cooled to approximately 41-degrees Fahrenheit much faster than warm or room temperature water, which ultimately helps fend off the side effects of dehydration.
Before exiting your nice, warm shower, crank the water temperature down to as cold as you can stand and try to stay in the cold water for two to three minutes. By subjecting yourself to ice cold water, your body will activate what’s called brown fat cells. Unlike white fat cells that are the predominate form of fat in the body, brown fat cells contain a large number of iron-containing mitochondria, which act as the cell’s heat-burning engine. Furthermore, the purpose of brown fat is to burn calories in the body in order to generate heat. Thus, when you withstand time in cold water, your brown fat cells will vamp up their heat-generating process and burn more calories.
Cold water stimulates your system in two different ways:
First, splashing cold water on your face makes you alert and helps wake you up. Underneath your skin lies thousands of tiny, sensitive sensors that, when exposed to cold water, send messages of shock to your brain. These shock signals tell your brain to pump up your adrenaline levels and the steroids aldosterone and cortisol, which gives you that jittery, heart-pumping feeling that get’s your body moving.
Second, drinking cold water boosts your immune system. Emerging, research-backed products like the ASEA Redox Supplement can bring your cellular communication to optimal levels which helps improve the health of every system in your body. Every cell in your body relies on something called redox signaling, a cellular messaging process that helps detect and correct problems within the cells. As you age and encounter more environmental toxins, cellular messages are sent less frequently and less efficiently, but with products like the Redox Supplement, these cells are stabilized and activated to improve the overall health of your body.
Whether you’re a current athlete, former athlete, or simply into fitness, you probably know first hand just how painful and annoying sore muscles can be. Within the last few years, however, experts have found that soaking in an ice bath after an intense workout can be incredibly effective. Chris Bleakley, PhD, and researcher at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland says that an ice bath can reduce sore muscles by about 20%, especially in cases of delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. By soaking in an ice bath, you can fight the inflammation, pain, stiffness, swelling, and localized muscle soreness that often comes after a hard workout routine or difficult new exercise.
The benefits of cold water for the body are important to understand if you want to give yourself an extra edge in overall body health and wellness. I hope the next time you’re in the shower after a tough workout, you’ll give a cold rinse an extra thought or two!
I get it. You’re short on time and your to-do list is longer than Santa’s. You have gifts to buy, people to see and parties to attend. As you dash about town spreading your good tidings and good will while sipping cider and adding sparkle to everyone’s day, just remember an overdose of holiday cheer can lead to extra pounds if you fill your belly like a bowl full of jelly.
‘Tis the season of giving. So give thanks. Give presents. And please give your body a break from the stress of the go-go-go by being creative when it comes to sneaking in a quick holiday workout and watching your diet.
This year why not make a commitment to really enjoy your holidays and all the activities they bring? Keep your workouts in check so you can keep your stress levels under control. Yes, there are things to do, people to see and places to go; but if you keep it all in perspective, manage your stress load with planned workouts and occasionally refer to tip number three, it should be a very happy “Kwan-Hanu-mas” for all.
Want to avoid putting on your fat pants after you awake from your tryptophan stupor this Thanksgiving? Then move on from the old-school style “gorge fest” (like licking the butter off your roll before you sop up the leftover gravy with it) and focus on a kinder, gentler holiday dinner that won’t play arterial pinball with the leftover lipids floating around in your blood.
The average American consumes over 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving (says the Calorie Control Council, and yes, there is one!). Most people can also expect to gain five to ten pounds between Turkey Day and New Year’s. Even though that keeps the fitness industry in business, it is sure to make the rest of you feel like cranky fat butts, and we don’t want that!
So listen up and make a pre-plan for your holiday feasts and parties to keep your eating under control. Rounds of appetizing hors d’oeuvres and free flowing libations can wreak havoc on your gym efforts. The key is moderation. Variety is the spice of life and moderation allows you to have a little of it all. Simply sample small portions of your favorite selections, not necessarily one piece of every dessert, but petite portions of the spread. You’ll have a better chance of avoiding a post meal coma and feel satisfied at the same time.
Of course, if you’re the cook then you have more control of the fat and calorie content and can opt for healthier design. Experiment with ingredients that create the same great taste, with all of the pleasure and none of the guilt. Substitute whole wheat flour for all purpose flour, evaporated milk becomes evaporated skim milk and get the lower fat versions of butter and cream cheese. You can also use two egg whites in place of a whole egg (unless the recipe specifically requires the yolk, like custards and puddings), use low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth in your mashed potatoes and stock up on fresh seasonal veggies such as green beans, sweet potatoes and winter squash.
However, if you are a muscle bound, health-conscious eater and you happen to be someone’s guest who isn’t, remember to mind your manners. Avoid preaching to everyone about what they should or shouldn’t be eating. That will get you about as far as a nickel’s worth of gas. They might not care and you may not be invited back. Try to lead by example if you can with your own portion control and food choices. And don’t lift your shirt at the table to show off your six-pack to prove a point. That’s simply distasteful.
So let’s say you just ignore my advice and pig out like it is your last meal. Guess what you’re in for a dose of holiday reality because serious consumption leads to serious cardio repentance.
A 160 lb. person would have to run at a moderate pace for four hours, swim for five hours or walk 30 miles to burn off only a 3,000-calorie Thanksgiving Day meal, according to Dr. Cedric Bryant, ACE chief exercise physiologist. If this “Thanksgiving Repentance Marathon” sounds appealing, then dive right in for another piece of that pecan pie and then get out your running shoes.
So dump piggin’ out and encourage your friends and family to do the same. Just be reasonable about your choices and give thanks. Seriously, give thanks. There is a lot in your life to be thankful for: your friends, some family members, pets, great travels, second chances, being in front of the line, killer parking spots, a passing grade, a promotion or an unexpected bonus (does that really exist?). But most of all give thanks for your health; you wouldn’t be here without it, so don’t take it for granted.
By Dr. Rafael Ramon; Acru Health: Precision Chiropractic
We all know that we should get more sleep, but what is the lack of sleep actually doing to our bodies? We tend to sacrifice your sleep for friends, work, family, or the next big thing. While I can respect the fact that so many of you are trying to do something amazing with your life, you have to realize that quality sleep is a non-negotiable. What ever you are trying to accomplish it can be done faster and with a higher level of quality if you are recharging the battery to its full level each and every night.
I want you to imagine your body as an iPhone. You would never leave the house to take on the day without making sure your phone has a full charge. Now I understand that some days you do, and that is the beauty of this, not everything has to be perfect. When you sleep you engage the parasympathetic aspect of your nervous system. That is the part of your brain that is in charge of sending out informational signals that tell your body how to heal and repair damaged tissues. It controls the immune system, rebuilds your muscles, regulates hormonal production, it activates the anabolic state that basically rebuilds and keeps you youthful.
Newsflash: When you sleep you are entering the deepest and strongest state of parasympathetic activity.
When you are not getting a large amount of good quality sleep you start to enter a state of sleep debt. Just like with a credit card, you can survive with a small amount of debt but it will continue to accumulate over time. Eventually our very adaptable bodies hit a wall and become overwhelmed with the amount of sleep debt…this is when we enter the sleep deprivation state. These effects suck for lack a better term. The dangers of sleep deprivation include immune system failure, diabetes, memory loss, depression, oh and let us not forget obesity. The list goes on but we don’t have time to sit here and scare you, we want to help you improve the quality of your sleep so that keep doing what you love and allow your body to heal and repair from the stressors of life. Lets look at three of the simplest tips for improving your sleep tonight.
Don’t channel surf before bed! Actually don’t watch T.V. or use any electrical devices that have screens for a full hour before you go to sleep. This includes computers, tablets, and phones. When you look at the screen of your T.V. or device you are exposing yourself to an artificial blue spectrum light. This “blue light” tricks your body into producing more daytime hormones like cortisol and sets up a roadblock for your body’s natural sleep preparation phase. Now if you’re saying “there is no way I can not be on my computer before bed, I have e-mails to answer or work to do” then please do the next best thing. There are apps that block the blue spectrum light from exiting your computer (Unblue). If you have to use your devices please get these installed, your body will thank you for it. The newest apple update for iOS actually has a built in button called “night shift” that does this for you.
The Caffeine Curfew:
It may seem like common sense but when you drink caffeine it will arouse an alert state. While this may be a good thing in the morning, it can keep you awake when you drink it too late in the day. Caffeine mimics the structure and shape of something called adenosine in your body. Adenosine will act as a central nervous system depressant that helps your body move into a relaxed state and prepare you for a great night’s sleep. When Caffeine binds to the adenosine receptor sites there is no longer room for the adenosine to bind, therefore not letting your body move into the stages of sleep preparation. Depending on your tolerance, and how your body reacts to caffeine, your curfew may differ. I would say that a great starting point is 4:00pm. Try not to drink anything with caffeine after that cutoff time and watch your sleep (and life) improve.
Early to bed, Early to rise:
We all have sleeping patterns and rhythms that our bodies become accustomed to. Some of us believe that we are night owls, while others believe that we are morning people. The reality is that you are what you repeatedly do, so if you stay up late every night then yes, you will become a night owl. Get it? The human body is designed to sleep when it’s dark and you should be awake when it is light. This causes our bodies to produce different hormones when we are in the light vs. in the dark. If your goals include: building and repairing muscle, burning fat, and balancing your hormone production then you are going to want to make sure you are getting to bed at a decent hour.
These are just a few tips to improve the quality of your sleep and unlock your body’s amazing potential for health. There are other ways people regulate their sleep problems such as CBD oil and other natural remedies. Stay tuned for more information on other topics in order to be as healthy as possible.
Don’t forget… Life can be challenging and the stresses of our days tend to beat us up. It is imperative that we get enough sleep and allow our bodies to recover and recharge. You heal when you sleep, so enjoy it.
-Dr. Rafael Ramon
Summer is officially here! Whether it’s poolside or during your FIT workout routine, enjoy our FIT SUMMER FEELZ playlist to jumpstart your summer jams.
Chill. Vibe. & Enjoy your three day weekend!
If you feel sluggish during the day, chances are that you usually rely on sugar, caffeine, or fast foods to keep you going. Doing so will make you feel energetic, but only for a short while before your energy levels crash again.
To sail through the day with your energy levels as high as possible, be sure to include these 10 healthy foods in your diet.
Being dehydrated can cause you to have headaches and feel lightheaded, making it hard to focus on tasks at hand. While drinking adequate water throughout the day can help you stay alert and productive – eating foods with a high water content will also be beneficial.
Considering that melons have about 90% water content, snacking on them in the morning and afternoon will help you fight fatigue. Watermelon, honeydew melon, and cantaloupe are packed with important vitamins and minerals too!
The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits of turmeric are no secret; this rhizome has a long and established history as an herbal medicine. The primary active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which has energy-boosting properties. Turmeric also aids digestion and increases metabolism and sweat production.
Use turmeric in small quantities in curries or have it as a tonic with lemon, coconut water, and honey.
This North Italian staple made from cornmeal is loaded with complex carbohydrates, unlike highly-processed grains that are rich in simple carbs. Complex carbohydrates are slowly broken down by your body, thereby slowing digestion and providing sustained energy release. What’s more, complex carbs keep your blood-glucose levels under control!
Polenta makes for a quick-fix meal, simply stir it with boiling milk or plain water until cooked and add dried fruit for some crunch. You can also boil it with broth or eat it with your favorite pasta sauce. If you love experimenting with your food, try polenta fries, pancakes, or cake!
Citrus fruits pack a fair amount of water and loads of fiber and vitamin C. Fiber makes you feel full by adding bulk to your food and helps carbs release into your bloodstream at a slow and steady rate. In other words, fiber gives your energy staying power and makes you feel active all day long.
Vitamin C needs to be replenished in the body on a daily basis, and low levels of this powerful antioxidant have been associated to low levels of energy, irritability, and depression. Eating fresh citrus fruits or sipping on citrus juices gives you a burst of vitamin C and natural sugars that can uplift mood and boost energy levels instantly.
Edamame beans or green soybeans are a smart pick because they are rich in protein and fiber. Since they’re nutty and chewy, they make for a great mid-day snack that fills you and keeps you from gorging on unhealthy foods that could make you drowsy.
With ample calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C, edamame beans have several health benefits too. Use them in salads, dips, soups, and stews or just eat them roasted with a dash of olive oil, salt, and black pepper!
These sprouts are rich in vitamin C which helps reduce oxidative stress caused by buildup of stimulants and toxins in the body. Apart from detoxifying your body, vitamin C keeps energy levels up and the metabolic rate steady.
Alfalfa sprouts are also packed with magnesium, which is important for regulating the body’s energy metabolism.
Apart from eating less carbs and eating the right carbs, a good way to keep energy levels high is to eat more protein-rich foods. Greek yogurt is an excellent choice as it not only has ample amount of protein but is also rich in complex carbohydrates.
Have yogurt for breakfast or snack on it mid-afternoon with some berries for slow-releasing energy that lasts you all day!
Asparagus is a nutrient dense food that offers numerous health benefits. Most notably, this vegetable is rich in vitamin B, which helps your body function properly, making you feel energized all day without having to depend on stimulants.
Asparagus is rich in vitamin C and is a source of tryptophan. The latter is needed to create serotonin – a mood-regulating neurotransmitter – which can uplift mood and boost energy levels.
This tuber is loaded with healthy carbohydrates and vitamins A and C. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of vitamin B, potassium, phosphorus, and dietary fiber. As such, eating them slows digestion and gives you a steady supply of energy.
You can enjoy sweet potatoes mashed or cut into strips and bake them for a healthy meal or a snack that is sure to keep you alert through the day!
Spinach is rich in iron and eating a cup of this leafy green plant daily means giving your body all the iron it needs. Not getting enough iron can cause your body tissues to receive less oxygen than required, thereby causing constant fatigue.
To keep energy levels high, include spinach in soups, stews, pastas, muffins, and more!
Start eating healthy as soon as you can. If you can’t give up caffeine and sugary foods altogether, start small by replacing a cup of coffee or a treat with any one food from the list- you’re sure to experience a surge in your energy levels!
Workout #: 3
Group Ex Class: Fit Booty Barre with Sophie Blicher
Location: FIT Downtown
I’ve always thought one of the most elegant and graceful forms of dance is ballet. That is until light hand held weights are used, it is formatted it into an hour long group exercise class and I’m added to the mix. I do not have a dance background, rhythm, or even the slightest knowledge of executing a precise plié. However, I do know that my inner thighs and booty have never felt more challenged than they did during Fit Booty Barre.
Fit Booty Barre is an amazing mix of butt wrenching, ballerina inspired, killer moves. Sofie Blicher, our classically trained instructor, exudes the perfect mix of grace and skill while inspiring the rest of us to perfect our posture. I learned first, second, and fifth position? I can’t tell you which one is which, but I can tell you that holding one of those positions while lifting weights will change anyone’s perspective on a ballet barre workout. Yet with pain, there will be gain. I’m hoping to soon be the proud owner of a well sculpted lower body and abs, with impressive flexibility, rhythm and enviable posture.
I believe this vision, even for me, is attainable under Sofie’s outstanding guidance. She is passionate about body awareness and even though I was thinking about a million different things I’d rather be doing while my inner legs screamed, “Stop!” Sophie stays focused and present and keeps her class on point. Her motto is: “Enjoy your workout, regardless of what it may be, and most importantly, be present.”
When I spoke with her after class she expressed to me how important it is not only to enjoy your workout, but to enjoy the benefits of being active. “Use a workout as a way to break away from your day and fully experience your body.” What a beautiful reminder; and I’ll try to think about that next time my legs are shaking like Jell-O in her class.
Not only is she an outstanding barre instructor, she has an amazing skill set in various dance styles including Latin, African and hip hop. Additionally she is currently studying for her Master’s Degrees in both Exercise Psychology and Nutritional Science.
As I write this, I realize Sophie’s class was not just physically challenging but mentally challenging as well. I now realize that if I can’t allow myself to be present with my body for a 60 minute class, it’s time to press the reset button and remember Sophie’s advice.
Don’t think of your workout as a workout, but as a gift to yourself. It’s time that we reflect on how extraordinary our bodies are. We don’t have to be in a yoga class to be present in mind, body and spirit. It can happen in Fit Booty Barre too!
How to Make Spring Cleaning Count as Exercise
Do you ever wish you had more hours in a day? Keeping up with kids, housework, laundry, shopping and all of the other mom jobs you do can quickly fill up your schedule, leaving you with little time to take proper care of yourself.
A great way to find time for those things that get left by the wayside is to multi-task, something most modern folks do quite well. Whether it’s listening to your favorite audio book on your way to work or running while listening to a new podcast, we’re always finding ways to do more in less time.
For instance, going to the gym is probably something you rarely have time for. But did you know sweeping your floor for 60 minutes gives you about the same workout as riding a stationary bike for 30 minutes? So why not take your spring cleaning tasks — something you have to do anyway — and turn them into an effective workout routine?
Below are a week’s worth of spring cleaning activities you can do in two hours or less that equal 429 calories burned, based on a 150 pound body weight, to help you get your house and your body in tip-top shape. To make sure you get the most out of cleaning time, you can add in small exercises such as squats, lunges and calf raises while you work.
Start with your windows. An hour of window washing will rid you of about 214 calories. Spend the next hour cleaning out a closet, unpacking some boxes and occasionally lifting with moderate effort, for another 250 calories and a grand total of 464 calories in two hours.
Tackle the tile and tub. Scrubbing your bathroom can burn as much as 271 calories an hour, and if you hand-scrub the floor as well you can double that amount, for a sparkly clean bathroom and a major calorie burn of 542 in a two-hour period.
Attack those floors today. Sweeping floors and carpets can burn up to 236 calories in an hour. Take another hour afterward to mop them, and you add an additional 250, for a satisfying expenditure of 486 calories.
Washing dishes, taking out the garbage and other kitchen cleaning chores can net you a calorie loss of about 179. Hand-scrub the floor and you can add an additional 271 calories shed for a Thursday total of about 450.
Spring is a time for new beginnings, and re-arranging your furniture can make your home feel brand new. It can also be a major calorie burner, coming in at 429.
Get the kiddos outside and spend an hour washing the car for a 312 calorie expenditure. While you have the hose out, one hour of watering your lawn burns an additional 107 calories for a total of 419 calories in two hours.
You and your house look great. Take the day off and just enjoy what you’ve accomplished.
Tips to Add an Extra Calorie Burning Boost
If you want to add an extra boost to your calorie burn, try one or more of these tips:
While we are comparing two hours of cleaning with one hour of exercise, it’s important to remember that you’re not only getting a workout but you’re accomplishing tasks you would be doing anyway. By combining activities, you get the best of both and still have time for all the other mom jobs that make up your busy daily routine.
Megan Wild is an avid outdoor exerciser who enjoys hiking and biking outdoors. When she’s not sprucing up her home, you can find her updating her blog, Your Wild Home.
We are well into a new year. Your resolution to start eating healthier may already be a distant memory, but maybe it’s time to revive that decision with a kitchen makeover that provides the tools and inspiration to make it a reality. Below are a few suggestions for making your kitchen a healthy eater’s haven.
Color Me Healthy
Believe it or not, the color of your kitchen has an effect on your eating habits. The best color to help calm those junk food cravings is blue. If you can’t paint your kitchen, try adding blue accessories and decorations. If you don’t like blue, the next best thing is an earthy green. Think about small changes you can make like cabinet hardware or using dish towels in these colors.
Avoid bright colors such as red, yellow and orange — these are signature colors of fast food restaurants that want you to crave their particularly unhealthy fare. Emulating those establishments is probably not the best path to a healthier lifestyle.
Go for the Greens
Using fresh herbs can make you feel like a culinary connoisseur, and it enhances the quality of your food. An indoor herb garden can supply you with your favorite herbs all year round. If you’re the crafty, green thumb type you can build your own, or you can opt for one of many different self-sustaining herb planting systems available on the market.
Learn the Art of Food
Create a living still life centerpiece with fruits and vegetables using a decorative cake stand, a punch bowl or some other creative vessel. Add some fresh flowers to enhance its visual appeal, then place it in the center of your table or island so it’s in plain sight. Keep it well stocked so you can easily grab a healthy treat, but don’t create a masterpiece that’s too beautiful to eat. The purpose is to make fresh foods desirable and easily accessible.
Remember That Accessibility Is Key
Unclutter your countertops and replace that stack of mail and display of junk food with healthy appliances. For instance, if you plan to start your day with a tasty smoothie, having to dig your way through cluttered cabinets to find the blender is probably going to be counterproductive. Instead, keep the tools you need — like your blender, slow cooker and food processor — available and in front of you.
Shrink the Saucers
Portion sizes are important in developing healthy eating habits. Use smaller plates and trick your mind into thinking you’re eating your fill. Most adults will eat 92% of what’s on their plate. If you use a smaller plate, you can eat less and still maintain your membership in the age-old clean plate club. This tactic probably won’t work if you fill your plate with potato chips and pretzels.
Know There Is a Tool for Every Task
Making healthy eating a lifetime habit is much easier if you actually enjoy it. Learning to cook nutritious meals is a lot more fun if you have the proper tools. Throw out all of your mismatched measuring cups and spoons, melted spatulas and scratched and dented pans. Replace them with brand new utensil collections.
A good cutting board and set of sharp knives will make cooking an enjoyable cooking experience. Invest in some quality green non-stick cookware and one of those cute utensil caddies. Select kitchen tools that reflect your style, such bright fun colors or sassy stainless steel.
Go the Distance
Once your kitchen design reflects your commitment to making a healthy lifestyle change, it’s time to take it to the next level. Enroll in a cooking class or subscribe to a recipe kit delivery service like HelloFresh, Plated or GreenChef. These will introduce you to interesting new food concepts and give you a foundation on which to build more advanced cooking skills.
If you’ve already blown your New Year’s resolution, it’s not too late to implement and maintain a lifelong commitment to healthier eating. Before you know it, healthy eating will be a way of life — instead of a fleeting annual resolution.
Megan Wild is passionate about living a healthy lifestyle that is aided by home design. She writes about her ideas on how the two correlate on her blog, Your Wild Home.
As the month of February focuses on the ones we love, we decided to showcase some of the “Things We Love” within the walls of Fit Athletic Club during this Valentine Season!
Give a women the right shoes and she can conquer anything. There’s a whole lotta love in this pair of spin shoes. 15 years of love to be exact. And they could only belong to the one and only, Connie Cook – a spin class we LOVE!
Cardio can be a pain in the butt, but what’s not to love about this view?! Enjoy getting your sweat on with a VIP view of Petco Park from the balcony at Fit Downtown.
Let’s be honest, happiness is a gym all to yourself. But true happiness is a gym that actually has the space to comfortably workout. If you haven’t already, check out the 5000 square feet Turf Zone at Fit Athletic Solana Beach!
What’s better than sweating it out and not having to work for it? Take advantage of the Dry Sauna at any of our three Fit Athletic locations!
Because who doesn’t like to hangout poolside on a rooftop deck? Oh, and not to mention with a stellar view of Petco Park.
Tennis, the fun kind of cardio. Discover your inner Serena Williams at Fit Carmel Mountain’s tennis courts!
Each year at this time there’s a huge commercial attention placed on the status of your heart – is it broken, lonely, filled, overflowing, fragile or hardened? Just how much chocolate does it take to mend a wounded heart? How many flowers prove one heart loves another? How many sappy love songs confirm no one has the answers to the mystery of this thing we call love, which seemingly comes from our heart?
If this love struck holiday gets you thinking about the status of your heart, then the most important question to ask yourself this month is: “How STRONG is my heart?” I don’t mean strong as in resilient. We’ve all been through a few daisies (“he/she loves me -loves me not”) and we ultimately get over it.
What I mean is how efficiently is your heart performing? With each heartbeat your heart pumps blood around your body. Blood provides your body with the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function and it also carries away waste. The average heartbeat is 72 times per minute. In the course of one day it beats over 100,000 times. In one year the heart beats almost 38 million times, and by the time you are 70 years old it beats an average of 2.5 billion times. That may be hard to comprehend considering your heart weighs less than a pound, but it’s a busy little muscle with more work to do than a hungry mosquito at a nude beach.
If your heart is unable to pump the amount of blood required to meet all of your body’s needs, then blood is diverted away from less-crucial areas, including your arms and legs, in order to supply the heart and brain. When this happens you will often begin to feel weak and tired. Then, simple, ordinary activities such as walking, climbing stairs or carrying groceries will begin to feel exhausting.
The good news here is that unless you have some pre-diagnosed heart condition, you have control over how healthy your heart can be. Yes, you have the power to create a healthy heart through what you choose to eat, how you choose to use your body and the life you choose to live.
You are what you eat and that is not a cliché. (Think about that the next time you reach for a Ding Dong!) We live in a world of convenience with quick bites and fast foods practically knocking on our doors. Unfortunately, the “good for you” food isn’t always around. But if you will simply make a daily effort to put fresh, clean food in your body on a regular basis there is a higher chance t your arteries won’t get clogged up with junk and your heart will be able function efficiently.
Unless you‘ve been living under a rock for the last, let’s say ten years or so, you should have some idea of the do’s and don’ts of eating healthy. It’s practically impossible to screw it up if you just use some common sense. Did it grow in the ground or on a tree and are you eating it in as close to its natural state as it can be, like an apple? Good. Is it wrapped in plastic, like a caramel apple? Not so good. Did you get a 2 for 1 deal at the drive through, like fried apple pies? Run Toto Run!
Now back to your heart. Your heart is a muscle and to make it stronger it needs to be trained just like all the other muscles in your body. You do that by getting your heart pumping by moving with vigor and energy. I know some of you think treadmills, stair climbers and cross trainers are the devil’s spawn, but sweat and dedication on these machines can help create healthy hearts.
There are endless ways to raise your heart rate and strengthen your heart and they don’t have to be regimented to a piece of equipment. James Brown suggested many years ago: “Get up off that thang and dance til you feel better!” I agree. Dance! It frees the soul and is a great way to express yourself at the same time. Walk the dog, skate, swim, play tennis, take a bike ride or just pucker up with your Valentine; because even a good roll in the hay has its cardio advantages!
Living as stress free as possible is one of the best ways you can protect your heart. All too often we get way too caught up in the daily little nuisances that trip us up and raise our blood pressure: bad drivers, bad breath, irritating co-workers, annoying sounds, lost homework, lost causes, lost keys, long lines, short patience, and the list goes on. These things add up and can cause stress to your heart’s performance without you even being aware of it. Try your best laugh things off when you can, like you do when you’re watching your favorite sitcom and these things happen to someone else.
Nuisances, however you define them, will be with us for a long time. Get over them and don’t let them get the best of you, it’s not worth the stress and potential damage you can do to your heart. Instead, lighten up and live longer. If you’re going to harbor things in your heart, make sure the things you hold close are positive and worth holding on to. Leave the stress behind so your heart can thrive. Your heart has plenty of room for good company.
Area Group Fitness Director
Fit Athletic Club
Fit Member, Travis Bain, tells us his inspiring true story of overcoming a tragic accident and becoming a competitive body builder. This is a journey you can’t miss.
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Workout #: 2
Group Ex Class: 12:00pm BOSU Fit Challenge with Tori Brillantes
Location: FIT Carmel Mountain Ranch
It’s a New Year and with that comes with the expectations of new goals. Maybe floss my teeth more, dabble to learn the guitar or speak a new language. This year, the goal on top of my list is to finally discover my inner Jillian Michaels and hopefully end up with washboard abs.
Some mornings are hard when you’re reaching for the gold and this morning was no exception. My goal was to make the drive to Fit Carmel Mountain and take Tori Brilliantes’ “BOSU Fit Challenge” noon class. Little did I know what kind of workout I was about to walk into.
Tori is a straight badass. It doesn’t matter if you’re a marathon runner, body builder or weekend warrior this class is a legit Fit Challenge. Holy smokes! I am 26, in relatively decent shape (but like I said…still in search of my abs), and I was the youngest person in Tori’s class.
To my amazement everyone was perfectly in sync with Tori, but it was clearly evident to me and everyone else that I was the most uncoordinated person in this class. It was comical, really.
Tori’s vitality for fitness is contagious and never in a million years would I think this woman is 56 years old. She’s ripped and has the body that I could only dream of (ladies, there’s still hope!). She worked out with us the entire class, if not just as hard then harder and coached us through the full workout. The class was high tempo, core centric with a definite focus on breathing. I was sweating from head to toe. Even my biceps were drenched! Yea, it was that kind of class. The class was awesome and you must try it if you’re looking for a super charged workout incorporating balance and strength training with killer cardio.
I spoke with Tori after the class, thanking her for a solid butt kicking. Come to find out the lady is a Full Contact Stick World Champion who won the title at the age of 40. I asked her what got her into such a sport, especially later in life. She said that every year she challenges herself to do something fearful.
This struck me. Not that my goals are not substantial enough, but it ignited the reminder that fear isn’t always a bad thing, that fear brings discovery and growth.
I didn’t write this blog to create fear about the BOSU Fit Challenge class, or maybe I did. We should embrace our fears in a positive manner and confront them head on. Tori’s mantra as an instructor is to extract the best out of her clients, no matter what fitness level they are. So consider this your reminder to allow fear to bring out the best in you.
Workout #: 1
Group Ex Class: 11:30am Vinyasa with Stephanie Powell
Location: FIT Solana Beach
I woke up this morning with a migraine and everything about today screamed, “Just lie here with your eyes closed… Forever.” But as the infamous Instagram meme says – ‘Drink some coffee (or in my case, pounded it + 2 Excedrin), put on some gangsta rap and deal with it.’
How happy I am to have dealt with my migraine by the balls. I decided to take Stephanie’s Vinyasa 1130am class at Fit Solana Beach. My oh my, how much she made me feel more than better.
I forgot my yoga mat and Stephanie said “no problem,” she had a moment before the class started and had a loaner in her car. She came back with the yoga mat, but to my surprise she was wearing 3 inch heels and yoga pants (not to mention that this is during the recent San Diego monsoon).
This woman, Stephanie — at the age of 52, is straight killing it. Her energy, poise and charismatic vibe immediately made everyone feel right at home. In the dimmed light, she welcomed each one of us. Her introduction – “that this class is our own personal journey, at whatever moment we might need to take a different path, the path is ours to take.”
After the class I had a chance to speak with Stephanie and was seriously blown away by her insight on her practice. Her passion to help people find the sacred space within Yoga and her drive to encourage people to hold the poses was so inspiring.
This class was the perfect balance for any beginner or intermediate Yogi. A beautiful flow of sun salutations to more challenging balance postures. Everything about her class came off as a positive feeling. The part that struck me the most was when she said, “the challenge is in holding the poses.”
Side note; I’ve never really cared for yoga. Mainly because I hate holding the poses for so long.
But for the first time, Stephanie made it clear to me that it’s not that I don’t care for Yoga, it’s the challenge that I’ve been avoiding.
A note from our blogger: Hi there!
I am the Social Media Coordinator at Fit Athletic. I’m a cat lover, wine enthusiast and drive a 1991 Volvo. I’m not a personal trainer or the girl looking for a fitness quick fix. I am your average girl who goes back and forth of wanting 6pack abs and the reality that I want that dark chocolate and sea salt candy bar more. This is my Fit Journey through GroupEx classes, workout playlists and fitspo. Cheers to sweaty selfies and finding Lululemon on sale.
We know, we know…you’ve been on your feet all day and are too tired to get to the gym. We all do it – forget to eat, skip the gym or give up on routine all together. The truth is, not taking care of yourself during your day to day tasks will leave you behind. It’s time to trade in those excuses for some functional routines. From a Student to a Retiree, New Mom or Desk Job – we have the Fit Tips to keep you in shape and on the move.
Find your lifestyle below!
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Fit Tips for Service Industry Professionals with Personal Trainer, Michelle Trapp.
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Fit Tips for Mom with Personal Trainer, Amy Rauch.
SEDENTARY PROFESSION (DESK JOB)
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Fit Tips for a Sedentary Profession with Personal Trainer, Murray Webb.
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Fit Tips for a Physically Demanding job with Personal Trainer, Aaron Bazz.
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Fit Tips for a Retiree with Personal Trainer, Kim Brutzman.
HIGH STRESS PROFESSION
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Fit Tips for a High Stress Profession with Personal Trainer, Jacques Stroud.
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Fit Tips for a Student lifestyle with Personal Trainer, Abe Al-baba.
Fall activities, exercise, cleanses, holiday recipes and more! We’ve got you covered for a Fit fall.
The summer’s heat lingers on, but fall is in the air and it’s the season to eat, drink and be cozy. Yes, we all want to kick back and bundle up after a summer of fun in the sun, but it’s time to fall into action! Get back into a routine with some basic essentials.
Energy flows where intention goes.
Make it your intention to create a fall foundation. Whether it’s a dynamic, athletic experience or slowing down and rejuvenating, Yoga is the best way to get yourself re-centered and back in routine. Regardless if you are a beginner or advance yogi, it’s about making your body feel the best it can, even if it takes a few falls along the way.
It’s back to school for the little ones, and that means getting them back into a routine. Fall activities for kids are the best way to start off your school year. Give your active adventurer their “me time” before they have to practice their ABC’s and 1,2,3’s.
A healthy outside starts from the inside.
A fall cleanse is the best way to re-start. The word “cleanse” may sound intimidating, but the truth is, its mind over matter. Give yourself a fresh-start by letting go of the “cleanse concerns” and having fun with it! It can take as little as 24-hours to give your body the jump start it needs. A good rule of thumb is don’t choose the cleanse that seems the most popular, choose the one that fits your needs and your lifestyle. It’s time to clear your mind and palate. – here are two Fit suggested essential cleanses.
If your palate prefers sweet, spice and everything nice, then a Vitality Tap 1-day “Juice Fest” cleanse is for you. This cleanse is filled with fresh, raw, organic cold-pressed fruits and vegetables. Each colorful juice (6 all together) leaves you with a variety of tastes; from a sweet start to a spicy, energetic middle and ending with a grounding medley. These fun juices won’t leave you feeling starved or tired like most cleanses. Instead, they will keep you feeling nourished while giving you boosts of energy throughout your day. Allow yourself a day for this cleanse. A simple work out and a great night of sleep and you’ll wake up feeling completely refreshed and back on track. Busy schedule? Quickly order online and pick up a Vitality Tap juice cleanse by visiting one of their many locations, including their new Carmel Valley location opening at the end of this month!
For the down to earth taste type, Beaming’s 1-day reset is your perfect Fit. This reset is not only raw & vegan but incorporates plant based, organic superfoods that detox and renew. The best part is you get to eat actual food while you juice! Beaming’s 1-day reset is great for both a beginner juicer and your weekly kick-starter type. Simple and easy, this reset gives you all the essentials to make it through your day feeling completely balanced. Beaming’s 1-day reset comes equipped with delicious juices, a salad and an anytime snack. You will taste, feel and see the difference – get started today by visiting livebeaming.com!
Trick or Treat
You’re never to old to want candy.
Fall, the season of pumpkin spice lattes, caramel covered treats and gravy soaked, well everything. After all that work you put in, now is not the time to lose sight of your wellness goals.
Make yourself a “trick or treat bag” filled with healthy choices to satisfy that sweet tooth while you’re on the go! Toss in an Energy Truffle Bar, Fudge Brownie Paleo Pops or a S’mores Quest Bar. Kill that craving with Glutino Yogurt Covered Pretzels, or pump your protein with a Pumpkin Spice or Snicker Doodle Complete Cookie. It’s easy as stopping by your Fit Café or local store and grabbing these tasty treats after your next work out.
Fall recipes and Thanksgiving dishes
May you be healthy and full this holiday season.
Don’t sit at the table this season and think “I wish I could eat that.” Instead prepare your fall dishes with a healthy mix. Follow these fall favorites that can be used for everyday meals and Thanksgiving recipes. Enjoy the best part of the holidays without feeling guilty by switching out some of your favorites for its healthier counterpart.
Extreme Wellness Physician, Dr. Clayton’s Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” would be a great addition to any meal. Meanwhile his Thanksgiving Turkey Dressing would a perfect topping to your thanksgiving dinner. Following up with a Pumpkin Spice Mousse, fitting for a special Autumn night in or thanksgiving dessert. (Click to download all recipes.) Dr. Clayton’s wellness program will soon be offered at Fit locations!
Fit Natural Food’s Executive Chef has some appetizing selections for you. A savory Grilled Chicken Butternut Squash/Pumpkin Puree and a Paleo Frittata with Sweet Potato Crust could fit right in your fall meal plan. (Click to download all recipes.) Need a meal to go? Pick one up at a Fit location or order online.
Life starts all over again…
What time is it?
Featuring: Andre Houle, Rachel Mulvaney, Julie Quinn, Dominic Mineo, Leah Berzon & Dylan Jones
Want to try a Fit Yoga Class? Visit www.fitac.staging.wpengine.com for a FREE day pass and schedules!
‘Tis the season of cookies, cheese platters and cocktails! While most of us love to indulge during the holiday season, nobody looks forward struggling into their regular pant size after the festivities have passed.
Rest assured! There’s no need to neglect yourself of holiday treats – you can still enjoy all of the wonderful holiday events that the season has to offer. Here are some simple tips to ensure you enter the New Year guilt free.
1. Don’t Show Up Starving
Yes, we are all guilty of this grave mistake. You’ve been fantasizing about all of the glorious food and beverage options that will be available to you at a party all day long, and eating very little because of it. By the time you show up the night of the party, you are absolutely famished and make a beeline straight for the cookie platter a-la-Santa!
To avoid stuffing yourself silly at a party make sure you eat regular meals the day of, and eat a small handful of healthy snacks (such as nuts, an apple or banana, or maybe a piece of toast with peanut butter) before you head out the door.
2. Chew Slowly at Dinner
We often rush through our dinners. Lets face it; when your dinner is delish, you often want to gobble the whole thing down lickity-split. This is a huge mistake when it comes to practicing healthy habits. Chewing thoroughly and swallowing before shoving the next bite down your throat helps you shed the pounds. Practice some behavior modification – after taking a forkful, place your fork down, chew, swallow and repeat until satisfied — NOT stuffed. This allows your body the time it needs to notify you of satisfaction.
3. Sip On This
Most of the time our minds think we’re hungry when really we’re dehydrated. Feel like snacking because you’re “hungry?” Put down the eggnog and try taking a few swigs of water and then wait it out for about 10 minutes, then see how you feel. Drinking water also helps in the process of digestion while naturally cleansing the body. Need some flavor? Add halved cranberries to help aid in weight loss and boost your glass with a little holiday cheer.
4. Use Small & Creative Utensils
Be sneaky; use smaller utensils such as salad forks and soup spoons when setting for a big meal. It’s an easy little trick to prevent from overeating. And have fun! Anything can be eaten with chopsticks, and this nifty utensil can help slow down your eating speed, especially if you are new to it! Ask Santa for a pair of custom chopsticks this year, and keep them with the rest of your utensils so you can incorporate them into your daily eating habits.
5. Partake in Petite Plates
Need help fighting the urge to overfill your plate? If you like to see it covered in food, simply downsize with a smaller plate. Sometimes it’s all a mind game! A full and visually pleasing small plate can make you believe that you are eating the same portion of ham and mashed potatoes that you would eat on a big plate, saving you the extra calories.
6. Take it To-Go
Exhausted after holiday shopping and looking to grab dinner at the mall? Watch out! Many restaurants have a habit of going to the extreme with portions. For example, The Cheesecake Factory is an excellent place to doom yourself to holiday weight gain. Think their salad is a healthy option? Try again! Those salads alone should be broken into 4 servings, but unfortunately people eat them all in one sitting and then wonder why they only fit into stretchy pants.
So ask your waitress for a to-go box as soon as you order, and split your dish before you begin eating. If you need even more self constraint, kindly ask your waiter or waitress to only bring out half of your dish and box the other half for you. Leftovers are a great way to savor that amazing meal and save money!
Enjoy the holidays this year, without the belly bulge fear.
Fall is in the air! Cool weather is perfect for staying home and cooking up a storm. Here are four quick, easy, and healthy recipes to bring you right into the holidays guilt-free.
Cranberry Pecan Breakfast Cookies
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp of honey (or to taste)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
¼ cup pecan pieces
1/2 cup almond milk
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and let sit at room temperature while preheating the oven to 350 °f.
2. Use a spoon to scoop batter into small clusters and place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
3. Place in over for 10-15 minutes, or until golden.
Roasted Apple Salad
4 cups organic spinach
1 medium honey crisp apple
¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¾ olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 300 °f and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Slice apples into even sized wedges and dust with cinnamon
3. Place apple wedges on the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven for 15 minutes.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
5. In a large bowl, toss the spinach, Parmesan cheese, and dressing.
6. Top each serving with warm apples wedges and serve immediately. Serves 4
Sweet Potato Zucchini Haystacks
1 medium sweet potato
1 medium zucchini squash
½ medium onion
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp of salt (or to taste)
1. Finely grate sweet potato and zucchini into a medium sized bowl and mix in the finely chopped onion.
2. In a small bowl crack and whisk together the eggs, then add and mix well into the bowl with the vegetables, garlic and salt.
3. Evenly spray olive oil onto a heated pan over a medium flame.
4. Scoop and flatten ¼ cup cluster onto the heated pan. Make sure you flip the haystack until crisp on each side.
5. Serve with unsweetened applesauce on the side for dipping. Serves 4
Pumpkin Protein Chai Latte
¼ cup organic pumpkin puree
¾ cup unsweetened original flavor almond milk
½ cup Tazo chai organic latte
1 tsp cinnamon
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)
Whisk all ingredients together until smooth and enjoy. Serves 1.
Feeling bombarded by the overwhelming amount of new health foods lining grocery store aisles? Well you’re in luck, because we’ve narrowed down a few of our local favorites for you.
Rau bottles up everyone’s favorite guilty pleasure in an unexpected way. Chocolate in it’s raw form is called Cacao, an ancient superfood discovered originally by the Mayan’s and known by them as “food for the gods.” Rau all began when college roommates Daren and Brian experimented mixing cacao with different spices and eventually developed their secret recipe. Only the finest cacao beans are picked in Ecuador, and cold pressed to maintain their vital properties. The combination of fresh cacao and organic spices is packed with super foods, antioxidants and vitamins, and an overload of delicious flavor (without any added sugar). Sipping on Rau maintains healthy blood sugar and pressure, increases intake of antioxidants, and includes excellent doses of magnesium, Vitamin C and Vitamin D. But wait, we have more good news! Rau is completely dairy, soy, preservative and sugar free. The Rau Original tastes like a healthier & lighter chocolate milk, and Rau Mint can easily be mistaken for a juiced peppermint patty. Next time you’re craving a spoon full of Nesquick, drink Rau instead. You won’t be sorry.
2. Perfect Bar
Don’t be fooled, this nut bar may be new to you – but it’s old school and awesome! Perfect Bar was created in the mid 60’s by Dr. Bud Keith, who passed on his healthy living company down to his family. Dr. Keith was quite a legend in the fitness scene here in San Diego, opening one of the first gyms and juice bars ever in Mission Beach. Keeping with the wellness spirit, Dr. Keith created Perfect Bars in order to share the belief that whole foods are crucial for healthy living and complete nourishment. All 7 Perfect Bar flavors are non-GMO, gluten free and naturally sweetened with organic honey. Paleo Pops are an excellent way to get in your complex carbs before or after your workout, or as a healthy alternative to sweet indulgent treats. For breakfast, I like to grab the Almond Acai bar – it gives me energy and keeps me full for a good portion of the day. I also like to go for Perfect Bar’s Carob Chip (instead of a chocolate bar) when lounging around watching a movie. Although those two are my longtime favorites, I must admit that all Perfect Bar flavors are delicious, and the perfect choice for an “anytime” grab & go snack.
3. Green Bee
Green Bee is fairly new to the San Diego juice scene. Founders Dave and Kent have collaborated to promote their love of juicing by creating a product that meets their high standards of quality and health. Utilizing their combined knowledge and experience, they have developed the “Green Bee Super Smoothie” and are changing lives “one glass at a time.” The Super Smoothie is raw and unpasteurized, and contains a special ingredient that sets it apart from any other product on the market – Royal Jelly. Created by worker bees over a span of three to four months, Royal Jelly is not to be mistaken for squeeze-out-of-the-bear honey – it’s the Queen Bee’s secret jelly that enables her to live an exceptional five to seven years longer than other bees. Royal Honey, the super food known to increase energy, promote healthy skin, build lean muscles, and kickstart a healthy metabolism, also packs more than 20 amino acids. At first sip, you may think that this super smoothie is loaded with sugar, but look at the label and you’ll see that each serving contains only 6 grams of sugar. Just one serving contains super foods such as kale, spinach, spirulina, flaxseeds and chlorella. Try it for yourself at Fit, or check out the cleanse packages on the Green Bee website!
From Brazil to La Jolla, these naturally dehydrated banana snacks are deliciously addictive. Professional triathlete Caue Suplicy shared his secret family snack with other athletes all over the country before deciding to go big and create “Barnana.” Whether you prefer them plain, covered in organic chocolate or peanut butter, or coconut flavored – Barnana never disappoints. Barnana takes pride in their slogan – “the super potassium snack,” which keeps muscles energized and nerves moving for healthy digestion. Here’s what’s most impressive about the original Barnana flavor – it consists of only one ingredient, banana. All options are non-GMO, gluten free and high in fiber to help maintain low blood pressure and promote a healthy heart. Here is a special “Fit” tip – employees and members love to eat them cold. Keep them in the fridge for a post-workout, refreshing and revitalizing bite.
5. Ocean Ranch Organics
Cranberry Orange, Meyer Lemon Blue, and Pomegranate are just a few flavors that make up the line of our favorite San Diego granola company, Ocean Ranch Organics. Kim Redman, an organic farmer with fourteen years of experience as a chef, created Ocean Ranch Organics Granola when people just couldn’t get enough of her granola. Kim is no newbie to the health industry, her cooking career took her throughout various spa and retreat locations, and gave her the opportunity to cater for professional athletes. What sets Kim apart is the uniqueness of her recipes – adding a bit of “zest” helps liven up her extra scrumptious granola. Ocean Ranch Organics granola varieties will catch you off guard with unexpected flavor combinations, but will leave your palate pleasantly surprised and wanting more. Eat Ocean Ranch Organics granola on it’s own for an easy snack, add it to your favorite yogurt for breakfast, or use it to top off a fruit bowl for delicious dessert.
6. Paleo Pops
One word, YUM! Paleo Pops are a new favorite everywhere in San Diego! With these morsels of deliciousness, Paleo Pop creator Keisha has finally proven that eating like a caveman doesn’t need to be boring or difficult. Bite-sized Paleo Pops come in four delicious flavors that can easily be mistaken for regular cake pops upon first glance. However, these nutrient-dense energy bites are no joke – they’re all gluten, dairy and soy free. Don’t be fooled by the green colored, organic spinach packed “Popeye Pop” flavor – it still tastes like a treat. “Brownie and Cookie Dough” is a crowd favorite, a perfect replacement for a real cookie or brownie. Just one pop will keep you satisfied! Paleo Pops are perfect to grab on your way out the door before your workout, or a guiltless treat for those late night sweets cravings. Paleo Pops prove that even with a healthy lifestyle, you don’t have to deprive yourself of mouthwatering delicacies.
With all of the confusing and contradictory information on the subject of saturated fats out there, you might be surprised to learn that the naturally occurring saturated fat in coconut oil has AMAZING health benefits, some of which include:
1. Promoting heart health
2. Promoting weight loss
3. Supporting immune system health
4. Supporting a healthy metabolism
5. Providing an immediate energy source
6. Keeping skin healthy and youthful looking
7. Supporting proper functioning of your thyroid gland
Cooking using coconut-derived products can be an easy way to sneak this superfruit into your regular diet. If you’re someone who doesn’t like the taste of coconut (and many people don’t), have no fear – the taste of coconut oil is very subtle. Coconut also makes a great substitute for traditional dairy, or other oils. Try this simple and delicious breakfast recipe to start incorporating coconut into your diet today:
Potato & Egg Casserole
1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 bell pepper, cleaned out and diced (I use red)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
8 large eggs
1 cup coconut milk (I use ‘SO Delicious’ brand)
1 teaspoon fresh-cracked black pepper
1-2 cups shredded cheese (optional)
1 can organic black beans, drained
3 cups diced red potatoes
Heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 13×9″ baking dish with coconut oil.
In a lightly oiled pan (using coconut oil), add the onion, yellow bell pepper, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook over medium heat until all the vegetables are fragrant and soft – about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool slightly.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs thoroughly and whisk in the milk. Whisk in the remaining teaspoon of salt, and the black pepper. Stir in the cheese, potatoes, black beans and vegetables from the skillet. Pour the whole mixture into the prepared baking dish. (At this point the casserole can be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)
When you are ready to bake the casserole, bake for 40 minutes or until the eggs are firm and the top is slightly golden. A knife inserted in the center should come out clean. Top with fresh avocado – delish!
Doctors and nutritionists can help people better understand certain health issues, but they often don’t have the time, resources, or individualized approach to guide and motivate people through their unique journey to lifelong, sustainable health. While they are able to provide advice, meal plans and prescriptions, oftentimes the most important missing components are ongoing accountability and support.
That’s where a Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach comes in.
Nutrition Coaches bridge the gap between the desire to be healthy and actually being healthy, assisting clients with every step of the process. They also fill a void in the current healthcare paradigm, helping keep people disease-free so that they seek medical treatment less frequently. Coaches are vital in helping to solve the healthcare crisis/obesity epidemic by helping countless individuals unlock the true potential of their lives.
Nutrition & Lifestyle Coaches are knowledgeable advisors who provide ongoing support and guidance as you set goals and make sustainable changes that improve your health and wellbeing. Your Nutrition Coach will listen carefully and help you to navigate the world of contradictory nutrition advice, to determine what changes are necessary for you and your unique body. He or she will look at the entire picture of health, including food, mindset, movement, relationships, finances, spiritualty and career – to create a total body, mind & spirit transformation.
While many health professionals dwell on calories and what not to do, Nutrition Coaches are committed to looking at the body as a whole, while finding upgrades to promote an enjoyable transition and ultimately, a more vibrant long-term lifestyle. Health is about so much more than what we put on our plate, and your coach will help guide you on your journey to WHOLE BODY healing, from the inside out.
Forget the endless lists of restrictions – coaches teach clients to create a happy, healthy lifestyle in a way that is flexible, realistic and free of guilt & denial. Being healthy should be fun, and nutrition coaches provide the tools and guidance to show clients that no matter what stage they’re in now, they can achieve anything they set their minds to.
Fit Nutrition Coach Sheree Trask’s personalized programs are designed to radically improve your lifestyle, in addition to upgrading your dietary choices. Together, you will explore concerns specific to you and your body, and discover the tools you need for a lifetime of balance.
This is your life, what are you waiting for? Contact Sheree at email@example.com to schedule your FREE 30-Minute Consultation and find out if nutrition coaching is right for you.
Difficulty Level: Easy
Time: 5 min.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories – 210, Protein – 17g, Fiber – 10g
1 green apple, cored and quartered
1 cup spinach or 2 leaves green Kale, stems discarded
1/3 cup juice from fresh squeezed organic lemons
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup unflavored rolled oats
*Optional – 1 scoop unsweetened, unflavored Whey Protein Powder
Blend all ingredients except ice and half the juice, until greens are completely blended (approx 3 min).
Add remaining juice & ice, and blend for another 20 seconds or until desired consistency is reached.
Difficulty Level: Easy
Time: 10min Prep, 40min Inactive Cook Time
Servings: 2 Entrees/4 Sides
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories – 40, Protein – 1g, Carbs – 1g
1 large spaghetti squash
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & fresh cracked peppercorn
crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup organic reduced fat mozzarella, shredded
1/3-1/2 cup organic parmesan, shredded
1 cup organic fresh basil, stems removed
1 cup organic arugula (or spinach) stems removed
2 cups organic tomato sauce
1 – 8oz can organic diced tomatoes, juice removed
Pre-heat oven to 425° F
Prep the Squash:
1. Halve squash length-way with a serrated chef knife. Remove & discard seeds with a spoon.
2. Place open-side-up on a baking sheet lined with foil. Lightly drizzle inner & top edges with olive oil & season with sea salt & fresh cracked pepper. Roast uncovered about 30 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and shriveled. Remove & let cool.
3. Drain diced canned tomatoes. Dab with paper towel to remove excess fluids. Lightly salt & set aside.
4. Rinse basil & arugula. Discard stems & dry between paper towels. Set aside.
5. Hold squash over a bowl and use a fork to scrape along the grain in long swift motions; letting the stringy content fall into bowl. Discard empty outer shells. Add tomato sauce. Stir to combine.
Make the Casserole:
6. Grease a small oven-safe casserole dish with olive oil. Add half the squash/sauce mixture, a layer of arugula (or spinach), layer of tomatoes, then a layer of basil & half of the mozzarella.
7. Pour second half of squash mixture over casserole & spread with rubber spatula. Top with a second layer of each of the remaining ingredients in same order. Top mozzarella with 1/3 – 1/2 cup shredded parmesan & lightly drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
8. On your oven’s broiler setting, bake under flame on rack positioned in middle level of the oven, until cheese is browned & juices are bubbling around edges; about 6-8 minutes give or take. Check every minute or so as the cheese can burn very quickly.
9. Cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing into the casserole so it holds its shape and retains its juices when sliced into.
Tip: Pairs great with chicken parmesan, grilled shrimp, or as a vegetarian entree with a salad.
Intra-abdominal adipose tissue, also known as belly fat, is not only viewed as unpleasing aesthetically but also has a direct affect on the organs of the guttural region, slowing their function and wreaking havoc on your metabolism.
All the crunches in the world won’t get you those washboard abs you’ve been seeing in magazines and on your favorite celebrities if you don’t monitor your nutrition. Here are 5 things you should try to avoid so you can stop hiding behind loose clothing.
Xenoestrogens are a type of naturally occurring or artificially produced compounds that have hormone-like properties and imitate estrogen. They are created artificially in the form of herbicides and pesticides to protect our produce from pesky bugs and insects. Unfortunately they have an estrogenic affect on your body and can cause you to store belly fat. This is why it is always important to thoroughly wash your produce before preparing it. Or, better yet, select certified organic products that don’t use these pesticides. Try to choose local, community based farms that refrain from using these contaminants.
Sugars, such as refined, simple carbohydrates and especially high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are troublesome carbs and are lurking in most package and processed foods like breads, pastas, cereals, snack bars, cakes, and almost anything that is white in color. These carbs will spike your insulin levels, decreasing your natural hormonal response to breakdown and utilize abdominal fat as energy.
Try to consume more complex carbohydrates like sprouted, complete whole grains and legumes like cous cous, quinoa, barley and buckwheat. But remember, carbs aren’t just grain-based, they come from vegetables also. Cruciferous veggies in particular are packed with phytonutrients that fight against estrogenic chemicals (remember xenoestrogens) further whittling away at that stubborn midsection.
Bad fats contain genetically modified, hydrogenated, trans-fatty acids. Run from these types of fats! They are hard to process and expel from the body. They’ll linger around like an old spare tire around your belly.
Another type of fat that shouldn’t be consumed in high amounts is saturated fat – measuring in with high calories, slowing digestion and our metabolism.
Lastly, Omega 6 fatty acids are linoleic acids found in all types of oils, examples are safflower, soybean, corn and sunflower oils, which tend to cause pro-inflammatory responses in our bodies. Try cooking with coconut oils or extra virgin olive oils, but be careful not to burn them – this converts their structure into trans-fats. With our Westernized diets being high in Omega 6’s we need to increase our intake of Omega 3 fatty acids, these are found in oily fish (choose wild, not farm raised), shellfish, avocados, flax seeds and walnuts. These anti-inflammatory agents help to return our bodies to homeostasis where it can perform optimally and produce a conducive atmosphere for getting toned.
Try to avoid high-protein, low carb diets. Replacing carbs with protein from meats, poultry, fish and diary can have negative, long lasting consequences. Symptoms of stomach distention and dehydration can be felt within days as our bodies spiral away from their natural state of homeostasis and begin storing excess levels of proteins as fats. Look at the big picture and think about balancing your diet You need all three types of macronutrients for repair, energy, cellular reproduction and repair, as well as hormone response and signaling.
Simply avoid packaged and processed foods. Your strategy in the supermarket should be to circulate around the outside of the store and avoid the aisles. Fresh produce, meats without contaminants, raw unpasteurized dairy, sprouted whole grains, foods with short label listings of two or three ingredients are all great ways to go. Foreign substances, chemicals and processing procedures alter not only our food but the way our bodies respond to them.
In conclusion, keep it fresh. Shop often and cook regularly, rotating your produce, proteins and fats to get all your essential nutrients. That’s what my nutrition professor in college taught me. If you want six pack abs you have to consider eating right and having your food work for you. When inflammation occurs in the guttural region it inhibits our organs from performing their intended processes of digestion. Avoiding the bad choices I’ve provided and implementing the good ones will help you feel more energized, improve your workouts and keep your body balanced lowering your stress levels. Remember folks, you can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet!
To help our bodies metabolize fat properly, we need to make a list of the worst enemies of fat metabolism. So, what are they?
To avoid overloading your body with toxins, you should avoid Splenda, sucralose and aspartame. Stevia is okay.
High levels of alcohol intake can cause serious liver problems, damaging the organ that helps in controlling fat metabolism. Minimal alcohol intake is recommended.
These are unnatural and toxic to your body. Preservatives are found in almost all packaged goods.
Be cautious about the types of fruits and vegetables you consume. Organic fruits and vegetables can even contain pesticides. Find a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) or farmer’s market you trust. Use them as a source for your daily dose of pesticide-free fruits and vegetables.
Avoid MSG. Check the label and watch out for soy protein isolate and citric acid. Both of these additives produce MSG as a by-product. Many protein shakes and protein bars contain one or both of these additives and should therefore be avoided.
Any products containing hydrogenated or even partially hydrogenated oils should be avoided.
Especially those with high fructose. They are often artificial and very high on the glycemic index, indicating that the blood sugar levels can rise very quickly after ingesting.
It is unnecessary to completely avoid caffeine, but one should limit their intake. Caffeine affects the body much like carbohydrates do. Ingesting caffeine can cause blood sugar levels to rise and fall, resulting in the storage of fat
When it comes to an eating plan for your healthy lifestyle – who cares what you call it as long as you have boundless energy, strong immunity and can do anything your body asks!
The goal is to train your body to derive it’s energy from proteins and fats instead of grains, legumes, processed dairy and other foods that irritate and inflame your body and deprive it of important nutrients.
There is a growing body of research documenting the health benefits of making this switch. In short, the benefits include reduced risk of heart diseases, autoimmune diseases, cancer and diabetes, all of which can be traced to excessive inflammation in your body, high insulin levels, and other processes and imbalances that are too detailed to review here.
Aside from the heath benefits, you will simply look better, feel better and perform better. If you decide to follow the principles of clean eating – do it strictly at first, and notice how it affects you… then “modify for moderation”. Give it a month, document it in a food/ lifestyle journal that you can always refer back to as a study guide. Even better, give that chronicle to a friend to pay it forward
Flours, grains, legumes, processed dairy, processed and refined sugars, corn and soybean oils. Pretty much everything in a bag or box. Remember, if you’re reading the ingredient list and can’t pronounce something – it is probably a Red Light Food. PUT IT BACK!
Grass fed and antibiotic/hormone-free meats and wild fish are best, as are organic vegetables. Focus on nutrient-dense veggies (those with dark or bright colors – colors that correspond with specific anti-oxidants). Save the starchy veggies like sweet potatoes or yams for post-workout meals, or to load up on for the tough workouts of tomorrow! Avocados, nuts (walnuts & almonds, not peanuts) are friendly foods – they aren’t going to make you fat with moderate consumption… same goes with fruits, (not fruit juices) like organic apples, and berries.
Some people have sensitivities or allergies to certain foods. The reactions can vary from feelings of fatigue or inflammations to a full blown allergic reaction. You are the CFO – Chief Food Officer of your body and need to pay attention to your discomforts and reactions to certain foods such as: eggs, nuts, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers and more. I call these “Yellow Light Foods” and I proceed with caution. For example, I now know that a dose of Tabasco pepper sauce can leave my joints with arthritis-like symptoms. Keep track of your reactions to these foods – this is where your food/health journal can come into play!
Without a doubt, my favorite part of a healthy and fit lifestyle is the EATING! But when it comes to eating nutritious, real food, one topic that often comes up is: which is better, raw or cooked food? The easiest way to help answer the question of raw food vs. cooked food is by measuring digestibility.
Legumes and grains are indigestible in their raw state and definitely should be cooked or fermented for a long period. When cooking think slow and low… and yes, that means that instant oatmeal is not real food. When it comes to fermentation think about the long process of making miso paste or soup.
Nuts will cause irritation or indigestion if not prepared by roasting or soaking and dehydration.
Many vegetables are difficult to digest in their raw form because they contain naturally occurring toxins that interfere with mineral absorption, block thyroid function or irritate the digestive tract. Cruciferous & green leafy vegetables like broccoli or cabbage fall into this category. Cooking neutralizes these anti-nutrients and makes these vegetables much easier to consume (fermentation also neutralizes these substances, such as when cabbage is made into sauerkraut). Raw salads can be extremely beneficial – however, if your digestive system is compromised they should be avoided.
It is best to consume milk products in their raw state. Pasteurization destroys enzymes that promote ease of assimilation and digestion (the reason why people who are lactose intolerant have problems with dairy). Pasteurization also makes many nutrients less available, especially vitamin B12 and B6.
Many nutrients are available in raw meat & fish, but cooking them (and being careful not to burn!) breaks down proteins and makes amino acids easier to absorb. A well balanced diet will include meat and fish in both raw and cooked forms.
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See our tips on proper fueling a fit trainers roadmap to clean eating and turn beast mode off and cardio zen mode on.
We’ve all been there.
A long stressful day at work, and we failed to plan our meals accordingly.Or worse, we exert the time and energy to prepare our food, but office calamity and eponymous ‘fire-fighting’ steal the wind from our sails. So, in turn, our blood sugar turns into a turbulent roller coaster leaving us lethargic, ravenous and ultimately capitulated by comfort food.
But why do we reach for comfort food?
There are three elements which drive us toward the bad stuff: low serotonin, poor gut flora, and imbalanced hormones. And here are three tips for improving them.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which is responsible for maintaining our Circadian Rhythm (natural sleep cycles), memory, and boosting mood. Our brain, just like our muscles, consumes blood sugar to function and produce serotonin. So, when blood sugar drops, so do our serotonin levels.
For the sake of efficiency, our body seeks what it knows to be the quickest source of energy to spike serotonin levels: comfort food. The reason being, comfort food is generally composed of processed, refined carbohydrates and/or simple sugars which are guaranteed to give an instant jolt in blood sugar. The problem with this is that not only does this add inches to your waistline by signaling body fat storage, but the brain also recognizes this pattern and begins to crave these substances when your blood sugar crashes.
The solution: retrain your brain by eliminating tempting junk food and replacing it with unprocessed, whole foods. A diet higher in quality animal fats (i.e. raw unpasteurized cow’s whole milk, organic whole eggs, etc) willkeep your blood sugar stable and optimize fat-burning hormones. Be sure to limit caffeine intake, as well. Caffeine desensitizes key serotonin receptors in the brain, reducing the efficacy of your healthy eating efforts. Also, try supplementing with amino acids such as L-Tryptophan or 5-HTP, which are precursors to serotonin. Take 500-1,000mg 1-3 times per day for optimal results.
As mentioned above, comfort foods are typically composed of processed sugars and starches – enemies of gut flora. When we ingest these foods, the development of Candida overgrowth occurs in the intestines.
Since the intestines are where we absorb vitamins and nutrients, it is essential to keep them in good health by fostering the growth of good bacteria.
Fermented foods with live cultures, such as kefir, natural sauerkraut, kombucha tea, and yogurt can help harvest good bacteria. Also, refrigerated probiotic supplements such as Jarro-Dophilus are an effective way to immediately promote gut health by delivering 6 or more beneficial probiotic strains in easy-to-swallow capsules. Start with the lowest dosage and work your way up as needed. When your gut is in optimal health, your body has an easier time stabilizing blood sugar. This equates to an elevated mood, and better eating decisions in the long-run.
When our hormones are in balance and optimized, our body becomes a fat-burning, muscle-building machine. Not to mention, our overall sense of well-being relies on this. However, when that balance is compromised by poor eating habits, our hormones work against us.
A diet high in processed, nutrient-shallow carbohydrates will leave our glands depleted and incapable of proper function. Our body needs saturated fats, such as high-quality animal fats, to provide our glands with the essential vitamins, minerals, and environment for production of hormones.
The additional problem is, of course, that so much of what we love to eat is also too high in omega-6 fatty acids. Packaged goods and unnatural vegetable oils (such as canola oil), provide a high concentration of omega-6 fatty acids, but our bodies necessitate a balance between omega-3, -6, and -9 for proper brain and hormone function. Eating a serving of fish (such as wild Alaskan salmon, mackerel, wild herring, sardines, etc) 3-5 times per week can provide a good dose of omega-3 fatty acids to get your body back in balance. Also, try supplementing with Butter Oil and Cod Liver Oil. Butter Oil delivers a high concentrated dose of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals, and Cod Liver Oil provides highly bio-available Vitamin-D and omega-3 fatty acids.
The suggestions provided will hopefully help you make better eating decisions, regularly. I’m not advocating you eliminate comfort foods completely, but the goal should be to eat whole foods and high quality fats to keep your brain happy, your stomach satisfied, and your day manageable.
See our tips on proper fueling a fit trainers roadmap to clean eating and difference between raw vs cooked food