Summer can be a good time to change your eating habits. You can begin by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoiding all foods that can make you sick by raising your blood pressure, triggering headaches and migraines, or add extra pounds. Summer is also a good time to spend more time outdoors to burn calories and get your heart rate up! Consider starting some enjoyable physical activities which you can turn into healthy habits – hiking, biking, running? Or working out with me a few times each week! But when it’s hot and humid outside, we all want to be cool, so here are some food for summer ideas that might help you feel and look better in the heat.
The best hydration for summer is FRUIT! It will keep your insides cool. Try to eat fruits grown in season, such as melons, apples, grapes, pears, cherries, apricots, berries, plums, peaches, mangos, papaya, tomatoes as well as all citrus fruits. Go for organic whenever you can. Fruit is both cooling and can act as a laxative, which can not only help your body to cool off, but also help with your summer detox and weight loss.
Leafy GREEN vegetables can also have a cooling effect on the body. You can make refreshing and cooling summer salads with slightly bitter-tasting, cleansing greens, such as dandelion greens, watercress and endive. Other cooling vegetables include: asparagus, cabbage, cucumbers, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, zucchini. As for roots vegetables, you can eat daikon and beets when you are hot.
Turmeric Detox Dressing is perfect match for your summer salads because it contains turmeric and avocado – two cooling foods. Recipe below . . . . :
Have you tried sea vegetables? Summer may be the right time to experiment with them (kelp, spirulina, kombu, hiziki, arame, dulse) because they ALL can help you feel cooler in the heat.
When you exercise more, you need extra protein. Healthy sources of protein that have a cooling effect on the body are: mung beans, grains such as black or brown rice, quinoa, millet, and (my new favorite) kaniwa . . . plus tempeh, soy milk and fish are all great protein.
Finally, herbs and spices such as peppermint, nettles, red clover, lemon balm, cilantro, marjoram can be a perfect addition to your cooling meals. They can also help simple detox of your body and boost your immune system.
Tumeric Detox Dressing
4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Juice + zest of 2 Lemons
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. ground turmeric
1 Tbsp. raw local honey — if not vegan
Pinch of iodized salt (to taste)
Blend all ingredients in a blender. Add more avocado if you desire a thicker consistency.
Sometimes people get really into the idea that they need to diet to be skinny. Occasionally this works, but it doesn’t always make you healthier. What does make you healthier and happier (and more attractive ;) is doing an activity or sport you enjoy plus getting the nutrition right! You really can’t do them independently.
Exercise + Nutrition = Good health
What I’m talking about is “preventative healthcare.” You’ll have less visits to the doctor and less spending of money! So get outdoors find a fun active hobby-like activity and eat right. Eating healthy while exercising can be challenging at times. Here’s a few guidelines to begin with:
- Eat small meals every three to four hours. Your first meal should be eaten within one hour of waking and before any type of exercise (when exercising in the morning).
- Portion Control! A serving of protein and carbohydrates should be the…
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Well, the year has come to an end, and it’s time to start thinking about what you want to actualize in 2015. Here a little acronym to think of when setting a goal: S.M.A.R.T.
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Relavent
T – Time-bound
They are helpful for two reasons. First, they are effective in quantifying success. Second, they address unrealistic expectations. For example, you may want to finish a marathon in less than 3.5 hours. If this is your first marathon, you can see why this might be an unrealistic expectation. The key to SMART goals is to use both outcome goals, which focus on bottom-line results, and process goals, which address how you will train to achieve those results. For example, “To finish in the top five at the local Triathlon in my age group” is an outcome goal. The problem is that we have less control over outcome goals than they have over process goals. If you fail to accomplish an outcome goal, you may question the efficacy of your training, and get too self-critical. We have greater influence over process goals, such as “To run 2,000 miles during the calendar year.” Plus, in the end, this stuff is suppose to be fun! Enjoy life and have hope for what you can accomplish. It’s a new year and a new time to actualize your dream.
And remember, a goal without a plan, is just a wish.
I know that someone out there must also feel this indulgent tendency to overeat this time of year. It sucks: you want to sleep more, eat more and be less active.
You know how hard it is to shed the winter fat layer. It takes a lot of hard work and strict eating. Avoid putting on those extra 10 pounds in the first place, by just being a little less indulgent at your next holiday party. And by following some simple tips.
1. Drink more water. About 8 x 8 oz glasses per day. Add a little mint sprig or lime slice to jazz it up.
2. Track What You Eat. The only way to improve upon your diet is to actually know what you’re currently eating. Keep a food journal, or download a free food tracker app, and input all of the calories that you consume over the course of a week. This will give you a broad look at where your low quality calories are coming from (high sugar, empty calories).
Your first step will be to eliminate these fattening calories and to start replacing empty calories with nutrient-filled whole foods.
3. Space Meals Apart. Much has been said over the past decades about the importance of eating small frequent meals throughout the day. This is old, outdated science. New research has proven that there’s more harm than good to eating more frequently than every 4 hours.
Stick with 3 meals each day, and fill in a protein-based snack if your meals are going to be more than 4 hours apart.
4. Prioritize vegetables. When you first sit down for a meal, eat the vegetable, salad, or other plant-based foods first, before moving on to the rest of the meal. The reason for this is to fill up on the higher fiber, higher nutrient foods first before eating the less-healthy items at your meal.
5. Lastly, have an attitude of gratitude. Eating well and being well studies have shown are linked to a healthy mind. Therefore lift your spirits, just by being grateful. The more you are grateful, the better you’ll feel, the better you’ll eat, and you may even go do that jog you’ve been wanting to do.
Have a happy Healthy holiday season!
If you’re trying to shed a few winter pounds, load up on the veggies of the season. And fresh spring produce is great from a Farmer’s Market, but if you can only make it to your local grocery store, try eating the following seasonal produce:
1. Rhubarb is the first harvest of the spring
and consists of heavy stalks and shiny skin.
2. Artichokes, shown above, grow largest in the spring.
Good signs are compact leaves and
stems that are freshly cut.
3. Radishes grow sweet and crunchy.
4. Mint flourishes best in the spring.
5. Asparagus season is from March through June.
Please note that thickness is not related to tenderness. Tenderness is related to how it’s grown and
how soon it’s consumed.
6. Peas mature in the spring and progress
into the summer.
7. Strawberries are local and are at their juiciest from April through June.
Many people want to know the secret for weight loss, health and vitality. It is a mystery as to the direct answer why do we have an obesity epidemic in this day and age? We are fatter than ever before, and sadly, the problem just seems to be getting worse.
In my past blogs, I’ve explained how exercise plus good nutrition equals weight loss. Today I offer you a remedy that is more specific: eliminate wheat and all wheat products. Cardiologist, William Davis M.D., proposes wheat as the source of the obesity epidemic in his book, “Wheat Belly.” His argument includes extensive real life experiments with his patients, and their radical transformation due to cutting out the wheat. Basically, wheat has been genetically altered into a modern plant that is drastically different than the plant from fifty years ago. It’s been proven much more addictive and toxic to our bodies than the whole grain of the past. Thus, when we have two slices of toast we spike our blood sugar higher than eating pure table sugar. Also, a myriad of other problems and diseases have occurred in our bodies from eating wheat, such as diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other immunologic disorders.
But eliminating bread, cake, cookies, crackers, pasta is no fun! Getting the basket of bread and butter at your favorite restaurant before dinner is so tasty! Here is where will-power and the concern for your health must come into play. Do you want to lose that stubborn fat that has been piling up around your belly, thighs or butt? Do you want to look attractive, have a healthy long life for your children, or loved ones? You do have this option to turn your life around. What real harm will you encounter by cutting wheat and all flour-based products from your diet? Only the jealousy of others seeing you lose weight and look great!
In addition, exercise, getting active and having fun moving is the other key to the fountain of youth. Good luck this year!
What new year’s resolutions do you have? Please share.
The vast majority of new year’s resolutions are about getting in shape, losing weight and basically looking good. It’s a well-known fact that people are desperate to reduce the flab that they acquire after the holiday debauchery. Cookies, candies, drinking and excessive eating celebrations pile on the pounds in December, and by January everyone is sweating away on eliptical machines. Hopefully, this January you will be well prepared with knowledge of how to go about reducing your visceral fat and firming up your body. Please don’t go blindly into the gym with some hazy plan of just jumping on the nearest cardio machine! As a Personal Trainer, I have a very specific routine and plan for each client to help them achieve their goals, which is not ALWAYS weight loss. However, I’ll share with you some overall tips across the board to help most of you this new year.
- Exercise AND reducing your calorie intake will result in loosing fat. Please don’t succumb to crash diets. Start slowly with eating smaller portions and cutting back a little on sugar and flour-based foods. This will get you going in the right direction. For more tips on nutrition read this article: Eating at the Right time. Although exercise alone cannot guarantee your ideal weight, regular physical activity is definitely one of the most important factors for successful long-term weight loss.
- Plan the work, work the plan. Have a little forethought before diving into your workout. Write it out, do some research on-line, or discuss with a Personal Trainer what your goals are and if they have any recommendations. Most Personal Trainers are happy to advance your success, since it’s good networking. I’ve included a sample workout below to get you started.
- The studies have shown that people who lose body fat have done it through cardio exercise, and not simply weight training alone. HOWEVER, there is a very specific type of training known as high intensity interval training or Short Burst Training using weights, cardio machines, etc. that is the key to burning the most calories in the shortest amount of time and increases your metabolism rate. It needs to be anaerobic, not just aerobic. That means you should be sucking wind, working hard with rest in between intervals. Wearing a heart rate monitor will give you the most specific answer of weather you’re going anaerobic or not. Disclaimer: this is not for everyone, check with your doctor before trying this exercise routine.
- Women: it is extremely difficult to “bulk up” from doing weights, unless you’re on steroids or other supplements. This is a ridiculous myth that most women believe. The reason most women “bulk up” is by adding muscle to fat. Therefore, it’s best to do cardio and weight training together, with a reduced-calorie nutrition plan to achieve your lean non-bulky body.
Below I have given you a plan that you may or may not want to use for your new years resolution workout:
- Warm-up with 5 – 10 minutes of jogging, biking or stair-climbing
- Repeat the following three times:
- 20 lunge-walks holding dumbbells (weight varies per person)
- 30 sec – 1-minute planks or push-ups
- 1 minute of jumping rope (or running on a treadmill at a fairly fast pace)
- Then repeat these three times
- 20 squats-with-overhead-press using a kettlebell or medicine ball (weight varies per person)
- 12 rows with a band
- 30 sec to 1 minute of mountain climbers
- Finish with 10 minutes on the bike doing six 30-sec. intervals (with 30 sec. rest interval)
And remember: any exercise is better than none. Even if you just want to go for a walk a few times per week, it’s better than just sitting at your computer. You don’t have to workout hard and often for exercise to be beneficial. Just get out there!