Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year New Goals....Hello 2013

What a year... I have to say I have been more blessed than not, so for that I am thankful. Remembering this keeps me grounded, focused, and moving forward as I should and this is what my hope is for everyone. I must say this was a year of personal growth for me in several areas of my life and I am excited to see what 2013 has in store for me. As far as fitness is concerned I have definitely had the opportunity to grow as a trainer which is awesome! My clients are amazing and I look forward to working with them in the new year. It is impossible to describe the satisfaction I get in challenging others, helping them reach goals, and seeing them do things they didn't think they could! All of these qualities solidifies that this is my calling, my purpose, and I am ready to touch lives when it comes to health and fitness. I am blessed to have the ability to design and implement my training programs for my clients and I look forward to doing much more in 2013. I also feel blessed that my paths crossed with some amazing people in the fitness industry. I started the year out training at a gym and was blessed to learn so much about several aspects of fitness, not to mention was able to work with some amazing trainers and become friends with one trainer specifically. Sadly, he was taken too soon about a month ago, but I am grateful for knowing him, learning from him, and having him in my life. Brandon Jennings inspired me to be a better trainer, he was one of the best, he fueled my passion for my profession and my personal fitness and I will always be thankful that we met. Also I feel blessed to have been re-connected with an old colleague who is now very successful in the fitness competition world and solidified that 2013 is my year to finally compete. Timing truly is everything and life really can come full circle. She is now my coach and starting Jan 2 we will be training full force for a spring show. I am excited and nervous about this goal. I will be blogging about this experience regularly to inspire others and keep track of my progress. Odd years are typically my best years so I am ready for 2013. I really have no specific resolutions I just promise to make progress and to continue to be the best me I can be. My wish for everyone is a peaceful, fit, healthy, happy new year. I hope that when it comes to personal goals that each person sets and achieves goals that are best for themselves. Life is not about competing with others, its about being better today than you were yesterday. Also I pray for more acts of kindness and just living a healthier life. Happy New Year to all!!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

It is so much MORE than just physical

So I knew going into this competition that it would be is all about prepping my body for stage but 65 days into it, and it is proving to be so much more. It is mental. You must have the mental focus to stay on track and have continued drive to do what I do every day whether it be meal prep, meal consumption( which I never look forward to), the workout difficulty and challenges with cardio, or just avoiding destructive behavior especially in social settings. I definitely have my highs and lows. But I am learning so much about the process as well as about myself as I go through the motions. It is challenging my patience to trust that I am heading in a direction that will end with me being stage ready, that the changes will take place, it gives me structure, focus, and a purpose. It is building my confidence daily even though I am still petrified to step on stage, it has corrected my posture, improved my workouts and just has me feeling better overall even when I am exhausted. This is definitely a learning process and so far I feel proud of how far I have come and can't wait to see how it all plays out!

Monday, December 3, 2012

60 Days Going Strong

I have officially been training for my first show for sixty days. That means 60 days on a specific diet, resistance, and cardio program. I have about 16 weeks until my first show option and I am feeling very optimistic about my prep and ability to be stage ready. I just started my second diet and exercise program about a week ago and I have to say the first three days were hell. I had a constant headache from low carbs. But my body has now adjusted and the diet is going well. My workouts are not challenging exactly but they are effective. The body part that is the most difficult would be my legs. The exercises I am currently doing are tough! I am excited to see all the changes my body will go through in the next 16 weeks because I have already seen results in the first 8 weeks!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Everybody Claims They Want A Fit Body..But Few Are Willing To Do The Work

This is a pattern I have noticed lately. Everyone talking a lot about working out, eating healthy, starting a new workout regimen but few have the follow through. And even a smaller percentage have the dedication. And because of that nobody is really seeing results and achieving goals. I tell everyone I speak with about this the same thing!!! It takes two components to become more fit: CONSISTENCY and CORRECTNESS! I can't say it enough.Sometimes I feel like I am talking to a wall. But honestly if you are not willing to do the work, what makes you think you deserve the reward of the results? Think about it. Don't just talk about it!!! Be about it!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Phase Two Of Competition Prep

Sooo I recently just met with my coach to re-evaluate my diet, my workouts, and to critique my body. Mind you this all happened three days after Thanksgiving. Not fair! However, she did feel despite the holiday I am on track for a spring show!!! Good news. Then we discussed all of my workouts and diet. I am beyond bored with all of it. So a change in the diet dido happen, my cardio was bumped up, and all of my workouts were redesigned. I must say that before the changes I progressed with all of my lifting, actually enjoy my cardio now, and I was never hungry. Now today was the first day of the new program... Workout went well, I am excited about the new exercises and the new format, the cardio was challenging but doable and the diet was a bit rocky today. I am still never really hungry which is weird for me and is definitely something I need to discuss next time we meet. I will start my serious diet and posing in about a month and all I can say is that I am terrified of the stage but know once I hit January there is no going back!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Taking Things To New Heights...Literally

For my 33rd birthday this year I decided I wanted to try new things, accomplish new goals, and face my fears. I did all those things in one day and decided that that mindset would set the tone for the 33rd chapter of my life. The first activity I did was rock wall climbing. I hate heights, but I wanted the challenge of getting to the top. I also faced this challenge with my mom hoping it would also be a bonding experience. When we first got there my mom took one look at the wall and said, "No way". I of course talked her into it and off we went. It truly was a process and an experience. Three and a half hours later I had been to the top multiple times and my mom had made it almost to the top several times. It was a workout, a challenge and exhausting on several levels. As we gathered our things to leave my mom looked defeated and mentioned she felt that she had failed both of us. I took one look at her and told her she was missing the big picture. Her whole mindset had changed from what she walked in thinking to what actually happened. She went from refusing to do it, to scaling the wall multiple times and becoming comfortable with the free fall. And truth be told had she not spent hours climbing almost to the top, there is not a doubt in my mind that she would have been to the top. I honestly can't wait to do it again, with her. It brought us even closer and was a memory I will never forget. My point in this whole story is take chances, face fears, overcome obstacles, an never lose sight of the BIG PICTURE.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Goodbye 32....Hello 33

When it comes to health and fitness I feel much better at 32, ALMOST 33 then I did in my 20's. I am in much better shape, I take care of myself and I truly understand the value of good health and fitness. My hope and wish for 33 is that I continue on this path and even take it to the next level and get in the best shape of my life so I can proudly walk on a stage and finally compete in a figure show. I also want to continue to be an advocated for fitness and pay it forward. I know it is my duty to use the platform I have been given to help others and that is what I love doing. Getting older is a struggle for all, I def have issues with it but then I think I truly am getting better in all areas...with age...and that is what its all about... So goodbye 32...and HELLO 33!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Three Weeks Into OFF Season Training

Well I have officially been following an off season training for about three weeks. The first few days were the WORST!! I had non-stop headaches and was always starving.. Then the headaches subsided and the crabbiness set in. Add to that cardio that I am not used to doing at an intensity I could barely handle and I was on the brink of giving up. I even broke down crying and thought if this is day two, how will I ever make it almost SIX MONTHS?! Then something amazing happened.. My body started adjusting. Headaches gone. Crabbiness minimal. Energy up. And cardio was finally doable. Not enjoyable but I could do it! Now here I am on my new phase...different diet choices and I can't wait to see what progress and changes my body makes. The first two weeks were a strict diet to shock my body. I half joked and said IT SHOCKED MY LIFE!! It truly did both. But when it shocked my body it jump started my metabolism and prepped it for the journey it is about to experience. I am so focused now. Do I have moments of weakness? Yes! And now my biggest complaint is boredom in my diet. But hopefully that will come in waves. I will say I am learning a lot and really excited to see what my body can do!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Journey Starts Here

Well it is official!! After talking about it and talking myself out of it for quite some time now, I am finally ready to do a show. My friend said it best (he has done several shows) when he said, "it is as much mental/emotional as it is physical. You must be MENTALLY ready." I feel like I am finally at a place where I am mentally ready. Am I scared? Heck yes! But I am ready to face my fears, put in the hard work, and take my place on that stage to display what months of discipline and focus can do. I need this experience. I want to feel accomplished and I need the structure in my life that training for this will require. I am ready to take my personal fitness to the next level and watch my body transform and to grow as a person through this experience. This is gonna be a huge commitment and a test of my ability to commit. The next six months or so will be about me being committed to competition prep. I have already warned some people close to me that I will be eating, sleeping, and breathing this competition until stage time. I have attempted the initial stages of setting up some sort of support system. Although I am a highly motivated individual, I know I will need the people around me to understand that my lifestyle will change and be restricted for a while and I need their support for these changes. Finally today I met with my posing coach, who will also be doing my diet. I know if I'm gonna do this, I want to do it the right way and not go into blindly. This was a scary move and when I agreed to work with her that is when it became REAL. I'm doing a show...Wow..I can't really describe how I feel right now besides nervous, excited, scared, and a little intimidated. I feel it is an attainable goal but there is definitely work to be done!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lift, lift, LIFT!!!!

Sometimes I feel like a broken record, but in all honesty I can not say it enough nor stress the importance of lifting weights. All too often women associate weights with men. Like only guys should lift, or if you lift over 5lbs you will turn into this muscle bound person that is depicted in comic books. I realize that I have talked about this before, but after seeing a picture on a certain social network (which I will include in this entry), I felt the need to discuss it again! So beyond the health benefits of lifting (as if thats not reason enough), maybe this will appeal to women. Muscle will appear more compact in appearance versus fat. Meaning even though an individual may weigh more as far as the scale is concerned when it comes to muscle, they will visually appear more compact, tighter because of the structure of muscle versus fat. This could mean smaller dress sizes ladies!! So if the health benefits are not inspiring you to grab some dumbbells, just think about the possibility of shopping for smaller sizes!!! Happy lifting!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Getting My INSIDE To Match My OUTSIDE

I have gone on and on about working out and eating right, all the reasons "why", the benefits, the changes that can take place by doing these things. but what I rarely talk about is taking care of your spirit, mental and emotional health. These are all really important to ones well-being. And I will be the first to admit I haven't always been consistent with this one. I get so into working out, fitness, eating right, that I end up putting my internal health on the back burner. I mean, one can only take care of so much, right? Well the problem is that eventually it all comes to a head and can hit you like a semi, and if you are not careful it can throw everything you HAVE been taking care of on the outside out of whack and leave you very unbalanced. I for one REQUIRE balance, in all areas of my life, so when this situation occurs it really messes me up. A few months back a very good friend spoke some very profound words that have replayed over and over in my mind since she said them but it wasn't until recently that I decided to HEAR what she was saying. She said, "I am exceptional at taking care of my outside, but always neglect my inside". This was so true!!!! Such an "ah-ha" moment for me. With that being said, here recently due to a more than chaotic chain of life events, I have decided to take care of my inside and attempt meditation. I want to strengthen my spirit, regain my focus, and just feel more calm...So my inside can compliment my outside...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Family That Juices Together....

A family that juices together stays healthy. Period. That is my thought when it comes to my family. I have been juicing for quite some time now, and anyone that knows me knows that I am a huge advocate for juicing. My family is no exception. They have to hear me rave about its benefits almost daily and listen to me hound them about getting on board with juicing. Well finally about a month ago my mom got a juicer. She juices daily and swears that it has changed her life. Her skin is glowing more now, she is full of energy, and she just feels overall better. Remember that these feelings and changes are being noticed just after one month of consistent juicing. Then this past Father's Day, my sister, my mom, and myself went in on purchasing a juicer for my grandpa. He loves fruits and veggies, but he doesn't always exclusively eat the fresh kind. We have gone round and round since I have been juicing on the benefits, the difference between juicing and consuming fruits and veggies by eating, and everything in between. Literally every time we got together I was giving him a speech about juicing. I also felt very strongly that he needed to attempt juicing because he is fighting cancer for the second time, and has reached the point where radiation and chemo are no longer options. I am anti-meds for the most part, and feel strongly that doctors over medicate this country. There is something deep within me that believes that the body can heal itself and juicing can definitely be beneficial to that process. I am proud to say that my grandpa has also jumped on board and juices every day. He really seems to enjoy the process of juicing and discovering how much each vegetable or fruit juices, and mixing and matching for different tastes. On top of that, I can not wait until he goes for his check up in three months to see what the doctors say and I am praying for a miracle. Afterall, I do firmly beleieve that a family that juices together, STAYS HEALTHY!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Muscle Imbalances

Yes we all have them!!!! Even trainers! If you are not sure what I am talking about, let me explain...It is usually the first thing that a trainer will look for when they meet with you. It is easy to detect when you do certain exercises and helpful to know when starting a training program. The professional term is "postural deviations," and these should be corrected first before building strength. Having minimal muscle imbalances will allow you to train correctly, use better form, and reach your goals, be it increase in strength, speed, size more safely and effectively. I have a few noticeable imbalances, one is caused by the structure of my body so can not be fixed, but the other few are injury related, so they can be fixed with certain exercises and strengthening the muscles that have not been isolated and trained specifically.
It is important to be aware of any imbalances so you can get the most out of your workouts. Many people get frustrated because they want to jump right into training and workouts, but correcting and imbalances truly is the foundation of fitness and must be done before anything else. Trust me, if anyone understands the frustration of not being able to jump into doing squats and bicep curls it is me. However, I have recently started adding some corrective exercises to my workouts in an effort to strengthen certain muscles and correct the imbalances and I highly encourage others to do the same!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Trial and Error for Training and Living a Healthy Lifestyle

Here's the deal. One way of doing things does not work the same for all people. This is true when it comes to training. For instance just because a certain reps/sets/training days of a certain exercise which focuses on a particular body part has been the method for some or even most people to achieve certain goals, does not mean it will work for you. I have literally spent over a decade doing the trial and error with training. Taking tips from friends, trainers, fitness fanatics, celebrities, you name it and I have tried it, all to have it come down to realizing I need to stop doing what everyone else has done and find out what works for me and my body. And even with that being said I still find myself having to change every component of my workouts to keep seeing changes in my body.
The same can be said for your eating habits. Just because someone swears by a certain way of eating (ex. vegan, vegetarian, or certain diets Atkins, Paleo, etc) does not mean that your body will respond or accept it. You must listen to your body and fuel it accordingly depending on your lifestyle. Beyond that as long as you are making healthy choices, and you know and live by the motto "fresh is best" most days of the week,along with being active you will see changes and results!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Five Foods You THINK Are Healthy

So now that I have mentioned the foods you should be eating, I thought I would share the 5 foods you THINK are healthy but aren't. I came across this article a while ago and found it very informative.
What are 5 foods that people think are healthy (but aren’t)? Any healthy alternatives for them?
We all know that in addition to physical activity, a critical component of leading a healthy lifestyle boils down to the food choices we make. But with all the food options out there, and a great deal of conflicting nutrition information circulating around, how do you know what you should consume and what you should avoid?
We decided to take the guess work out of healthy eating! We asked registered dietitians (RD) and nutrition experts to help us identify those foods that appear to be good for us, but aren’t as healthy as we may think. Don’t despair — the RDs and nutrition experts provide alternatives that can help you stay on track.
Low Fat Peanut Butter
Often times, seeing "low-fat" on food labels falsely leads us to believe the item must be a healthier alternative. But when it comes to low-fat peanut butter, RDs agreed – stay away from it.
ACE-certified personal trainer Ruth Frechman, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and author of “The Food is My Friend Diet,” stated that while peanut butter supplies healthy fat to your diet, “choosing low-fat peanut butter reduces the amount of healthy fat [you receive].”
Emily Miller, MPH, RD, Associate Program Officer at The Institute of Medicine, went on to explain that when fat is removed, the food manufacturer has to add something else to compensate for the texture and flavor the fat provided. What does that mean for you? “In the case of reduced-fat peanut butter, about one-fourth of the healthy (unsaturated) fats are removed, and sugar – and sometimes salt – is added; meanwhile the calorie content remains nearly the same, but the nutrient profile is less healthy,” she said.
Healthy Swap: RD Recommends

Love peanut butter? Miller suggested opting for natural peanut butter, which specifies only one ingredient on the label — peanuts. While natural peanut butter often separates, which can make it difficult to stir, she recommended storing the jar upside down for a day or so since it makes the job of stirring much easier. Having trouble adjusting to the taste? “Once you get through a jar of natural peanut butter, your taste buds will adapt and you’ll probably find [conventional] peanut butter too sweet and salty,” said Miller. Are you allergic to peanuts or simply want to test out something new? Consider giving sunflower seed butter or almond butter a try!
Multi-grain Bread
While research has found that consuming more whole grains can help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer while also serving as a great source of vitamin E, iron and fiber, most people incorrectly assume that multigrain and seven-grain breads must do the same. Unfortunately, many of these products are often not 100% whole grain, and in some cases, they contain no whole grain whatsoever, Miller pointed out.
So what are these breads made from? The Nutrition Twins® Lyssie Lakatos, RD, and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RD, authors of “The Secret to Skinny,” told us that more often than not, seven-grain and multigrain breads are made from refined, white flour with a sprinkling of other grains. “Because these breads are just as processed and refined as white bread, they are usually devoid of fiber and spike blood sugar quickly, only to create the same crash that a sugar high does when it wears off,” said The Nutrition Twins. Miller mentioned that this crash can then leave you feeling hungry shortly after eating these foods.
Healthy Swap: RD Recommends

Reading nutrition labels is key. As The Nutrition Twins® recommended, opt for wholesome whole grain breads that state that they are made from 100% whole grain or 100% whole wheat flour. To avoid picking up an imposter, Miller cautioned shoppers to avoid any products that list the words “enriched” or “refined” anywhere on the package or in the ingredient list.
Sea Salt
To salt or not to salt? That is the question. Sea salt is often an ingredient that generates a great deal of confusion, as many of us are led to believe that because sea salt is more natural than regular table salt, it must be healthier.
However, Gina Crome, MPH, RD who is also an ACE-certified personal trainer, clarified that “sea salt and regular table salt are fairly identical nutritionally,” so essentially they have the same amount of sodium. “Because sea salt crystals are bigger than table salt crystals however, the same volume of sea salt doesn’t take up as much room as the table salt would, and thus, has a little less sodium,” said Miller. But as Crome has seen firsthand, the false belief that sea salt is “healthier” than table salt often leads people to use it more liberally, and thereby consume more total sodium.
Healthy Swap: RD Recommends

The bottom line is, use salt — whether sea salt or table salt — sparingly. As a general recommendation, Crome referred to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which states that people should strive to limit sodium intake to no more than 2300mg/day; or no more than 1500mg/day for those who are either over 51 years of age and those (regardless of age) who are of African-American descent or have hypertension, chronic kidney disease or diabetes. Want to add flavor to your food without the salt? Miller recommended seasoning foods with healthy, flavorful items like citrus juices, herbs, spices and flavored vinegars.
Fruit Juice
When it comes to fruit juice, 100 percent fruit juice may not be as healthy as you think. Michelle Murphy Zive, MS, RD, said “even with ‘only’ fruit juice, there is usually added sugar in the form of fructose (fruit sugar). “For instance, apple and grape juices – which can be the ‘only’ juice or added to 100% fruit punch – have higher amounts of fructose than other fruit,” she said.
Healthy Swap: RD Recommends

Zive recommended stepping away from 100% fruit juice and instead, try making your own juice with a juicer. Or simply reach for a piece of whole fruit!
Protein bars and shakes
Ever taken the time to read the ingredient list on a protein bar or protein shake? If so, you may have noticed a laundry list of words that look like they are more suitable in a chemistry textbook instead of a food label. The bars are usually 200 calories each with around 10-15 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, 5 grams of fiber and 20+ grams of sugar. Julie Burks, MS, RD, CSSD, Semper Fit Dietitian and ACE Lifestyle and Weight Management Coach, stated that while the average protein bar or shake doesn’t sound so bad at first glance, these products are processed and contain stabilizers, preservatives, and other ingredients that may not support health. (She cautioned that the second and third ingredients are usually some form of sugar).
Healthy Swap: RD Recommends

While these products are certainly OK on occasion, “opt for real, fresh food that not only contains a similar number of calories, protein, fat and fiber, but also disease-fighting antioxidants and phytochemicals; and less sugar,” said Burks. Think you can’t eat healthy on the go? Think again! Burks offered a slew of examples of quick, healthy, ready-to-eat foods (not exhaustive): nuts, trail mix, peanut butter (not low-fat), apples, berries, raw carrots, cherry tomatoes, cottage cheese, hard-boiled eggs and 100% whole grain crackers. She mentioned that these foods can easily be mixed and matched for quick, healthy, on-the-go energy anytime!

Monday, May 21, 2012

5 Healthy Foods You Are Probably Not Eating

We all know that it’s important to eat our fruits and vegetables and consume heart-healthy whole grains. What you may not know is there are a number of options for getting the nutrients you need while adding new variety and flavor to some of your favorite meals, all while keeping your diet on track. Check out these five foods that you may not be eating yet, and learn from our nutrition experts some simple ways you can enjoy these healthy options.
It's not just for Halloween! While fresh pumpkin is typically a classic fall favorite, the canned variety is a great option all year round, as it is a delicious nutrient powerhouse. "At only 40 calories per half cup, canned pumpkin is packed with 4 grams of fiber per serving, has 300% of the daily value for Vitamin A, and also contains Vitamin C, potassium and riboflavin," say registered dietitians and sisters Tammy Lakatos Shames, RD, and Lyssie Lakatos, RD, also known as the The Nutrition Twins®.
Ways to Enjoy:

This isn't your average canned food. Being that it's practically sodium-free and extremely tasty you could eat it right out of the can. If that's not your style, The Nutrition Twins®, authors of the book "The Secret to Skinny," suggest adding a dash of cinnamon or brown sugar, or a drop of maple syrup, depending on what your taste buds prefer.
The beauty of pumpkin (besides it's great color) is that it's extremely versatile, which makes it a great option for baking as an alternative for oil in items such as desserts and pancakes. It's also a healthy addition to some of the items you're most likely already enjoying. From smoothies and soups, to pasta dishes and oatmeal, The Nutrition Twins® recommend pumpkin for its great texture and delicious favor. "It even makes for a great parfait when layered with honey, almonds, walnuts or yogurt."
The Nopal Cactus, also known as the prickly pear, may be a plant that is native to Mexico, but it's an option that can be enjoyed on either side of the border and beyond! Gina Crome, MS, MPH, RD, says nopales is a great antioxidant-rich option that's loaded with vitamins A, B and C, as well as fiber.
Ways to Enjoy:

Curious how to enjoy this spikey option? Once the cactus paddles are scraped of their thorns, they are often chopped up in a way that resembles green beans. "It can be used to make items such as jams or jellies, or it can be added to soups and salads," Crome says.
Want to make a healthy south-of-the-border-inspired breakfast? Crome recommends cooking nopales with onions and adding it to your scrambled eggs. Wrap the combo in a whole wheat tortilla, top with salsa, and you've got a great breakfast you can easily take with you on the go.
Hemp Milk:
Looking for an alternative to milk (or opting to skip dairy all together)? Hemp milk is a great dairy-free alternative for vegans and non-vegans alike! With most versions fortified with vitamin D and B12, 1 cup of this unsweetened treat is just 70 calories, with 3g of carbohydrates, 3g of protein, 6g of healthy fat and 0g of sugar. So why has hemp milk become so popular in recent years? Kristen Carlucci, a registered dietician and nutrition expert for Pitney Bowes Inc., shares the facts about this superfood, made from ground hemp seeds. "It contains 10 essential amino acids, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, beta carotene, potassium, B vitamins and the list simply goes on and on," she said.
Ways to Enjoy:

Carlucci suggests incorporating hemp milk into your morning or post-workout smoothie for a rich, creamy texture and a major nutrient boost! Check out her banana-chocolate "milkshake" and replace the skim milk with hemp milk for an added boost to refuel after your next weekend workout.
Chia Seeds:
Its true – big things do come in small packages. Chia seeds are edible seeds rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3s that contain 2.6 g of ALA (alpha-linolenicacid) in only 1/2 a tablespoon. As if that that wasn't enough, Tiffani Bachus, RD, creator of Total Balanced Body, LLC, shares that they're a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps support digestive function and acts as a natural detoxifying agent. Talk about packing a punch!
Ways to Enjoy:

So how can you enjoy these tasty little treats? For a new twist on toast and jam for breakfast, try Bachus' "Banana Jam" recipe.
1/2 tbsp. chia seeds
2 oz water
1/2 banana
1/2 tsp. honey
Cinnamon to taste
Combine chia seeds with water in a bowl. Wisk vigorously for 30 seconds and set aside for 20 minutes until a gel is formed
Mash the bananas with a fork. Add the honey and cinnamon and mix together
Combine gel chia seeds with the mashed bananas
Can be served on top of toast as a "jam"
Refrigerate the remaining chia gel. Use within 2 weeks.
Don't let the name deter you! Pronounced "keen-wah," this whole grain is native to South America and its benefits are quite unique. Emily Ann Miller, MPH, RD, of the Washington, D.C. area shares that although quinoa is a plant food, it's actually a complete protein, which means it supplies all nine essential amino acids. "It's also a good source of the minerals manganese and magnesium, and folate, a B vitamin that's especially important for pregnant women and women of child-bearing age," says Miller. Quinoa, like many other whole grains, also helps protect against heart disease.
Ways to Enjoy:

The next time you go to prepare rice or pasta as a side dish, try quinoa instead, as its creamy texture and somewhat nutty flavor are a great compliment to any dish. And it serves as a great base for pilafs! Miller herself opts to cook quinoa in low-sodium chicken broth, and then adds sautéed onions and celery along with dried cherries and toasted walnuts for a tasty twist!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Benefits of Matcha Green Tea

If you know me then you know I love Starbucks. That is a given. However after discovering that they carry matcha green tea, which I used to drink years ago, I switched my drink of choice to green tea for a variety of health reasons. I could go on and on about matcha but here are just a few of its benefits.
A cancer-fighter, a fat-burner, and much more, matcha leaves other green teas far behind

Every day, countless people throw away valuable antioxidants and minerals. While seemingly unimaginable, thats exactly what happens when you brew a cup of green tea because water can only extract a fraction of green teas benefits. The majority actually remains unused, trapped in the tea leaves. In reality, the only way to truly take advantage of green teas full potential is to consume the entire leaf. But that doesnt mean you need to start eating tea leaves. The simplest solution is to just enjoy a bowl of matcha. Because matcha is straight, stoneground tea leaves, matcha provides you with green teas powerful arsenal of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids in a way no other green tea can. In fact, to even begin to match the potency found in a single serving of matcha, you would need to drink at least ten cups of brewed green tea. When it comes to helping you achieve and maintain optimum health, matcha is without equal.

ORAC to the Max: Matcha Is an Antioxidant Powerhouse
One of biggest the buzz words in nutrition, antioxidants are naturally occurring chemical compounds that prevent aging and chronic diseases. Nowadays, a variety of fruits and vegetables are lauded for their antioxidant properties, leading to a host of products with all kinds of claims. But matcha is unparalleled in comparison. Firstly, matcha is packed with exponentially more antioxidants according to the latest innovation in antioxidant research. Using the testing method known as ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity), experts at Tufts University discovered that matcha possesses an amazing twenty times more so than pomegranates or blueberries. Matchas ORAC rating is a mighty 1300 units per gram, compared to pomegranates 105 units per gram or blueberries 91 units.

Energy Booster
One of the most unexpected benefits matcha drinkers experience is a boost of energy through the day. In one study, researchers had thought that this was from the caffeine in matcha, but they found that it was actually the combination of matchas natural properties. Another recent study in particular found that matcha even improved physical endurance by 24%. Even if you arent facing a grueling workout, matcha can help you through the everyday marathon, whether its that project due the next day or getting the kids from school to soccer practice.

Calorie Burner
Already nearly calorie free, matcha is a great addition to a weight loss program by tackling the problem from both sides. It boosts metabolism and burns fat. One recent study even suggested that matcha may help burn calories by four times. At the same time, matcha does not put any stress on the body. It doesnt raise blood pressure or heart rate, making it a safe alternative to questionable quick fixes or pharmaceuticals ridden with side effects.

Detox Deluxe
Green is truly the color of health. Matcha helps to safely cleanse and purge the body of harmful elements. Chlorophyll the element that gives green tea and other plants their signature verdant color is also a powerful detoxifier, helping to eliminate both chemicals and heavy metals from the body. And because matcha is carefully shade-grown, it is substantially richer in chlorophyll than other green teas, making it a superior daily detox.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Even Trainers Get Injured

I smirked as I wrote the title for this, because I know this to be true, but I guess non-trainers sometimes feel that it is impossible for trainers to get injured during workouts because we are "trained" professionals, so we should know what we are doing. Well yes, I am a trained professional and I do know what I'm doing. However, there are definitely times during my workouts that I push myself beyond my limits to challenge myself and to promote change, which is when I risk a potential injury. This topic depicted my life about a month ago when I suffered back to back injuries. My first injury was a severe shoulder strain that I originally ignored for about two weeks and continued to train on as if nothing had happened. Stubborn. Stupid. Now I have not trained my shoulders directly for about a month to allow the muscle to heal and as of right now have plans to take about one more week or two off before returning to training. Does this suck? YES. Am I struggling to stick to my no training policy. ABSOLUTELY. However, I know that if I continue to train on it I could strain it even more and make it even worse. I know you have to listen to your body, but as a fitness fanatic and an aspiring fitness competitor I struggle to not train. The upside to this time off is that when I do return to training my shoulders, they should respond really well to my training and progress even more.
My second injury was a pulled hamstring, which I do occasionally from lifting super heavy on my legs. That injury required me to take a week and a half off, and then gradually return to my normal leg workouts. My advice when it comes to dealing with workout injuries, is always listen to your body. If you get injured, allow your body time to heal and focus on other muscle groups. Know that when you do return to training your body will be shocked and respond even better to your training than it did prior to the injury. Take days off, never train the same muscle group back to back, you must allow 48-72 hours between training the same muscle group so your muscle tissue has time to rest and grow.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Nutrition versus Activity

People often make the promise to get started on exercising to lose weight, get healthier, reach fitness goals, and usually have a time frame attached to that promise (on Mon, next week, at the start of the new year, etc). We all know it takes a lot of dedication and consistency to reach our goals, to make changes, change our lives, improve our health. It is not rocket science, I promise. And although some people may disagree, my advice to people who are going from poor eating habits and no activity to wanting to see changes in their body's, from how they look to how they function, and everything in between, is to start by CLEANING UP YOUR EATING HABITS. Don't get me wrong, both components are necessary for change, and they do go hand in hand, BUT nutrition is huge. Just by making changes in your diet, you will get results! Stop drinking alcohol, stop drinking soda, eliminate processed foods, eat fresh, choose lean proteins (chicken, turkey, fish), stop eating fast food, cut out sugars, the list goes on and on. Once you make those changes and can do it regularly then get moving!!! Before you know it, you will have more energy, you will sleep better, your clothes will fit better, and your body will completely transform!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Overcoming Obstacles That Are Keeping You From Reaching Fitness Goals

Going from having several trainers to now being a trainer, I have to say that I have heard every EXCUSE as to why people can't workout. I have even been guilty of giving excuses in the past before I realized the true importance of a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a certain level of fitness. Everything from the typical lack of time, lack of money, schedule conflicts, to uncertainty about the commitment or dedication it takes to reach your goals. Here is the deal. You can always find an excuse. Time? Well did you have time to watch last nights 2 hour episode of the Bachelor?? Then you DEFINITELY have time. Think about it. If you can carve out time in your day to catch your weekly episode of whatever show, then you have time to be active. Money? This is pretty standard. I understand that money is beyond tight and surviving is a struggle for most of us daily, living paycheck to paycheck. But, it is all about organizing your finances. For example, if you are a coffee addict and go to Starbucks daily, spending an average of $5/trip, that is $35/week, $140/month. That money could go towards a gym membership or working with a trainer. This is just an example. We all have our vices, luxuries, extras that we spend money on here and there without really realizing where our money goes. Why not put a little money aside and invest in your health?? Commitment and dedication is a big one. You have to be ready for change before you even get started. A trainer is an amazing tool to keep you focused, on track, hold you accountable, and provide direction in reaching your goals, but you must be ready to commit!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Thoughts On My Training To "train"

Just when I thought I knew it all...Well ALMOST it all...I learned something new. Actually I am totally kidding. Although I do feel like I have a pretty solid foundation of fitness and training, my orientation for this new position as a trainer has been an eye-opening experience, and I definitely look forward to learning all I can. It has definitely been a while since I have blogged but the past few weeks have been hectic to say the least with interviews and decision making regarding a training job. I finally made my choice and went to a location where I felt confident that I would benefit most as a new trainer. Meaning, the manager seemed passionate and thorough, very informative about the facility and training in general. All these qualities are important to me in developing a solid foundation that will ensure a successful future as a trainer. However, I will be the first to admit that the first few days of training were a challenge. There is much to be learned and I totally see myself growing here. It has also been challenging so far, mostly because the way this gym trains is so different from anything I have ever seen. The best way to describe it is that, I know what the trainers do at my gym, the experiences I have had with trainers that have trained me, and how I train myself, what they do there doesn't fit into any of the groups. I like the programs at this facility, the training methods, and reasoning/why behind the methods, which is important because I firmly believe and live my life/only get involved in things I believe in and encourage others to do the same!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

One Of My New Amazing Leg Workouts

So I have had a few requests regarding one of my new leg workouts, instead of emailing everyone back I thought I would blog about it. It is my power, muscle, burn workout, and it is CRAZY good! Today I just trained my hamstrings and this is what I did:

1. Deadlift----this is for power-----4 sets-----3-5reps
2.Deadlift----muscle---------------2 sets----8-15 reps
3. Wide stance Good Morning----muscle----2 sets---6-12 reps
4.Glute/Ham Raise--------------Muscle-----2 sets---6-12 reps
5. Leg Curl--------Burn---------------------2 sets---40 reps

You will keep the same weight for each individual exercise, within the exercise. However, you may go heavier/lighter when you change the exercise. This is an awesome workout and I definitely will keep it in my rotation of leg workouts!

TRX Training Thoughts

Now a few days removed from my TRX seminar I am now able to have my thoughts gathered a bit better to speak on it. All I can say is it is amazing. I have been intrigued by the TRX concept for quite some time and could not wait to have an opportunity to become qualified in instructing TRX and to learn as much about the TRX training as possible. For those of you that are reading this and are wondering, "What is TRX"? I will tell you. It is suspension training. It is a training method that actually has quite a history and was originally developed in the Navy as a form of exercise and a method to get total body conditioning in limited space. It utilizes suspension training and your body weight as the resistance (although you can add outside weights and props for more challenge and variety) and can work out your entire body. I honestly swear by this training and have fallen even more in love with it after taking this course. I will be using this method in my training. It builds true functional strength while improving your flexibility, balance, and requires your core to work hard the entire time. I totally support the principles behind TRX and love the fact that it can be used on a 20 year old the same way I could use it, the same way my grandpa could use it. It caters to the person that is just beginning to be active all the way to the professional athlete and everyone in between. And unlike most gym equipment, the TRX trainer works multiple planes of motion to get the most benefits, where most machines use one plane which only allows for a certain amount of benefit and is not functional to real-life movement. Are you curious about it yet??

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Alternative To The Infamous Flaxseed Craze

Everyone is always raving about flaxseed as a source of fiber and a good source of "healthy fats". This still remains true but I recently stumbled across a new seed, that in my opinion is kicking flaxseeds butt by the numbers. Here is an article I came across that goes on more detail about the benefits of this SUPER seed.
Long ago, before the Spanish conquest of Latin America – and well before the Ch-ch-ch-chia Pet was born – chia seeds were a staple food, like corn and beans, in the diets of the Aztecs and Mayans. Chia actually got its name from the Mayan word for “strength.”

Most evidence shows that humans began using chia seeds around 3500 BC. Aztecs and Mayans consumed chia seeds regularly, grinding them into flour, pressing them for oil and drinking them mixed with water. At this time in history, chia seeds were considered to be almost magical because of their ability to increase stamina and energy over long periods of time.

After the Spanish conquest of Latin America, chia seeds and their benefits became somewhat eclipsed, as the Spanish introduced their own foods and prohibited the farming of chia. Now, as modern scientists and nutritionists are recognizing the extreme lack of certain nutrients in the standard American diet, they are looking to history for natural solutions, including chia. Because of this, it is regaining popularity and its benefits are becoming known to modern America.

The chia seeds are “super” because, like a superfruit, they deliver the maximum amount of nutrients with minimum calories. They have several of the same benefits as the more well-known “super seed” flax, but unlike flax seed, you don’t need to grind them to reap the health benefits. The nutritional benefits of chia include fiber, omega fatty acids, calcium, antioxidants and much more – even protein!

While the American Dietetic Association recommends 20 to 35 grams of fiber each day, unfortunately the average American only gets 12 to 15 grams. With nearly 11 grams of fiber per ounce, chia delivers 42% of your recommended daily value of fiber in a single serving. Fiber is vital for all aspects of health, and is especially key for weight loss and digestion. Fiber helps slow digestion and makes you feel fuller by soaking up fluid and expanding in your digestive tract.

Chia absorbs up to 12 times its own weight and expands to curb your appetite, so adding just an ounce or so of chia seeds to your diet can reduce caloric intake and help lower the energy density (or calories) of foods, plus double the amount of fiber you receive.
Contributing to its super-seed status, ounce for ounce, chia seeds have more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon! Chia is one of the most concentrated sources of omega-3 in any food. It also contains high amounts of omega-6. Everyone needs to consume high amounts of these essential fatty acids in their diet, because these EFAs build new cells and regulate various processes of the body, but our bodies cannot make them internally. They also support heart health and beautiful skin, hair and nails.

Chia also contains calcium; in fact, it delivers 18% of your daily value per ounce, which is three times more than skim milk. Many Americans – especially vegetarians or those who avoid dairy – are not getting enough calcium. Calcium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, a disorder characterized by porous and fragile bones. Osteoporosis is a serious health problem for more than 10 million US adults, 80% of whom are women. Another 34 million have osteopenia, which is essentially pre-osteoporosis.

Overall, this tiny little seed packs a big nutritional punch.

First Things First.....FORM!!!!

One of my biggest pet peeves in the gym is when I look around and see anyone doing an exercise with bad form. It literally takes everything in me not to stop what I am doing and go over and correct them...That is definitely the trainer in me coming out. But I refrain because it is not my place. However,I am mentioning it here, and if you are reading this please know that ALL your efforts in the gym are a waste if your form is NOT correct. Seriously. It's a complete waste of your time. So before you get caught up in reps, or sets, or amount of weight you can lift depending on the exercise, CORRECT YOUR FORM! However you have to do it, by asking someone who is knowledgeable, hiring a trainer, looking at fitness/workout books, looking online....Use your resources, educate yourself, and clean up your form so you can start seeing results...I would prefer everyone to squat, lunge, curl, etc at a LOW weight with correct form then overloading your body with excessive weights and bad form. The latter will get you nowhere but qualify you for possible injuries. Take your time with each rep....Focus and really feel your muscles doing the work on the lifting and lowering phase of the exercise, proper breathing is huge (you should exhale on the exertion/lifting part of the exercise and inhale on the lowering), get a good SQUEEZE out of the muscle you are working so you can really feel it. Remember FORM is everything!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Goals Revisited

Let me preface this by saying as New Year's approached I made it clear that I had some general tweaks that I wanted to make in the upcoming year, but just as we all change as individuals our goals are subject to change. I am still working on the "get out of my gym clothes after the gym" goal. That is really difficult for me, because it is so easy to stay comfy and I'm constantly on the go and my days usually escape me. I am taking it one day at a time and I keep reminding myself, I work hard for my body so I need to wear more flattering things (and hoodies/sweats do NOT equal flattering). I am also on track with my reading a certain amount of time per week. My goal is a book per month, which is realistic. I truly believe you must keep your mind sharp and reading is a great way to do that. My eating habits have definitely become more strict. I am working on timing out my meals, keeping my diet clean, tremendously upping my protein intake. My final tweak is my workout. This is definitely being revisited because shortly after the new year I started thinking about competing in a fitness show. So yes, cardio will be a must and more then the minimum I was originally thinking, add to it my resistance training is about to drastically change. I have to become more focused and even more dedicated then I already am if I want to achieve THIS goal.
I have noticed in certain conversations with various people, on social networks that getting healthy seems to be a common goal. And yes, I know that it is a standard goal for the new year that is short lived. But something seems different about it this time. People seem more dedicated and determined, and I love it. Just as I hope these posts are a source of inspiration or get you thinking, I have to admit the daily posts on social networks along with the conversations I have had recently inspire me!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

From Strength Training To Stage

I have mentioned that I have wanted to do a fitness competition for a few years now. It has definitely been a goal on my bucket list, however I always back out or change my mind. Something in me this year has me more serious than ever. So this is the first of many posts I will have that are about my training for this competition, just another facet of fitness and source of inspiration for the reader. I know we all have fitness goals, be it a bodybuilding show, losing those last few stubborn pounds, participating in a 5K/marathon/triathlon, toning up, or just feeling more healthy. Whatever your goal may be, I hope that my journal entries on this blog while I embark on this journey will inspire you to keep striving to accomplish your own goals.
Let me tell you how I have no idea how to really train for a show. I have never even been to one before to see what it looks like. So my first step is to attend one to see a glimpse of what it all entails. However, being that the first available show to attend in STL is not until March, I am spending my time from now until then going youtube crazy trying to see different workouts, competitions, posing, etc, and starting the clean up process of my diet, while modifying my workouts. After March,I will make my ultimate decision to proceed with the competition training and really get down to business. That will give me a very small time frame to get stage ready, the show I would compete in is in August, so approximately 5 months to do it. I work best under pressure....But did I mention I have severe stage fright???Because I do! BUT, like I have said before and I keep telling myself, you have to face your fears, step out of you comfort zone, and take on new challenges.
I definitely have my work cut out for me. In addition to these preliminary changes I have started to make to prep for a possible show, I have also started keeping a journal of my exact workout and food consumption daily, which is something I have never done. It will be a great reference to look back on as time goes to see increases and changes with my workouts, etc. Also, since this is technically week one, I took all my measurements and took pics to also measure my progress. I am a huge fan of measurements over the scale. The scale fluctuates too much and isn't as accurate in predicting fitness levels/muscle growth as measurements can be. So the training begins......

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pushing Past Your Comfort Zone

I am a big believer in this concept for all areas of your life from major to minor, big to small. Even the most insignificant changes can make a big difference. Be it a different outcome/result, or even something as simple as making you feel good because you know you were able to step outside of your comfort zone/routine, be it for a certain amount of time or even for a moment and try something new. Like I said, I TRY to apply this to all areas of my life, and although I am not always successful in doing so, brave enough to do it, I try my best and when I don't succeed I keep trying. For example, yesterday I tried a new coffee place. Yes, this seems trivial and to some maybe a silly example to prove my point, but anyone who knows me, knows I love coffee drinks and even more so I love Starbucks.....faithfully. However, yesterday I met up with an old friend for a talk and ventured outside of my Starbucks comfort zone. I will admit I was beyond reluctant. I didn't know what to expect, what to order, nothing. It was all unknown to me. But I went...And I loved it. So much that I went back today...And I remember feeling a little proud of myself to venture outside of my routine and try something new last night.
Now to apply this to your workouts. Everyone knows you stick to a training program for a certain amount of time and then you must switch up some variable(s) of the workout or the workout entirely to avoid a plateau. I know that, but what I know more than that,  is what it takes to keep my body in the shape its in, and to maintain it at this level of fitness. Meaning what exercises to do for legs, back, arms, abs, etc, which is different for every individual. However now that I am contemplating competing in a fitness show I must take my fitness to a whole different level. And I have to be honest, this is the first week that my workouts have been geared more towards competition prep, and it has scared me. I have started training parts specifically for what I NEED to train, not what I LIKE to train, chosen very different exercises, different intensities, it is all new. I am beyond out of my comfort zone and at times worried, thinking "well what if I lose certain muscle tone", etc. But I am trying to ignore those thoughts and keep trying new things each day and switching things up in hopes that I will see new RESULTS.
So my thoughts for you, is to try new things...If you love weights, try cardio....If you love cardio, pick up some weights. If you always take pilates and feel you have no rhythm, take zumba...or whatever....If you are hardcore with weights try yoga...You get my point...Just get out there and try new things...Go outside of the norm...what is comfortable..Who knows..You might discover a new interest you never knew you had!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Another Way To Prepare KALE

As most of you know I juice kale, and have been for months.It is an amazing veggie,that provides numerous nutritional benefits which make it a super food. I recently came across the following recipe for kale lasagna and prepared it last night for dinner. It was amazing! I will definitely be making it again and might even make a few adjustments. Although it has a yummy flavor as is, I would also like to suggest the option to add more veggies with the kale so your health/nutritional benefits just increase!
Spicy Kale Lasagna
Yield: about 8-10 servings
1¼ lbs. kale (or spinach), stems removed
3 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes, (preferably with herbs)
2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1 tsp. lemon juice
4 cups cottage cheese
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
¾ tsp. pepper
16 no-boil lasagna noodles (or noodles cooked according to package directions)
To prepare the kale, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the kale to the pot and boil for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water until cool enough to handle. Wrap the kale inside a clean kitchen towel and wring out as much excess liquid as possible. Chop roughly, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
To make the tomato sauce, combine the oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt in a cold saucepan. Heat over medium-high, stirring frequently. Once bubbling, cook for about 30 seconds. Mix in the crushed tomatoes, reduce heat and let simmer 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
To make the cheese mixture, strain all of the liquid out of the cottage cheese. (I used a fine mesh strainer and pressed down to remove the liquid.) Mix in ½ cup of the Parmesan, 1½ cups of the mozzarella, 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper.
Preheat the oven to 375˚ F. To assemble the lasagna, add a thin layer of the sauce to the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Cover with a layer of noodles, then half of the cheese mixture, half of the kale, and half of the remaining sauce. Add another layer of noodles, the remaining cheese mixture, and the remaining kale. Top with the remaining noodles, then the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup Parmesan.
Bake for 45 minutes, until bubbly and browned. Let stand at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ditching the word "DIET"

Ahhhh welcome to a new year, where the one of the top 5 used words in everyones conversation at any given time is "diet". I am here to share my thoughts on the word, to either eliminate it from your vocabulary or change the context in which you use it. "Diet" has such a negative stigma associated with it typically. It embodies restrictions, deprivation, not good tasting food because it is supposed to be good for you, etc. I definitely used to be in a place where I used the word diet endlessly. I have deprived myself of numerous food choices, to then eventually eat an insane amount of whatever it was because I had not allowed myself to satisfy the craving when I first had it. I have participated in a variety of diets that are built on restrictions, consumed  my fair share of food that was selected because it was "good" for me but tasted horrible. I have been sucked into alllllll the fad DIETS, all of which have not improved my health nor helped me accomplish whatever fitness goal I had desired when I first attempted the DIET. Finally I had to re-define diet for myself. I had to come to grips with all the things previously mentioned were not healthy and not productive. I had to stop. Now when I use the word "diet" it refers to lifestyle and eating habits. I turned a stereotypically negative word into something positive. I don't deprive myself of anything. If I am craving it, I listen to my body, satisfy the craving, and move on. Part of my diet/lifestyle is to make healthy choices most days of the week. I have mentioned it before but I describe my diet for the most part as "clean". When I say this I mean, while shopping at the grocery store I follow these few simple guidelines:
1. Stay in the perimeter of the store. The aisles will get you in trouble. I rarely venture down them. But if I do its for things like brown rice, tuna, condiments, spices, etc.
2. FRESH IS BEST!!!I can't say this enough. It has a shelf life and must be eaten in a timely manner, but fresh is always best. If you can't buy fresh, next best is frozen. Canned anything is horrible!!!It has so many additives and preservatives to allow it to have shelf life that the nutrition value suffers.
3. Look at the ingredients. The fewer the better. If you can't pronounce whats in it, your body can't recognize it and will struggle to effectively digest it.
Those simple quick tips will help you eat "clean" and contribute to a healthier lifestyle through your diet.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Kale Recipe

I have mentioned Kale in a previous blog and every time I mention it in conversations people always ask me,"how do you prepare it?" Prior to this recipe I used to strictly juice it, which is super great, it blends well with other fruits and veggies and provides amazing benefits! However I was recently looking for ways to mix it up when it comes to kale and came across this recipe I thought I would pass along:
1 bunch kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.
With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt.
Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.
Nutritional Information
Amount Per Serving Calories: 58 | Total Fat: 2.8g | Cholesterol: 0mg