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Foodie Friday – Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup

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9-22-2013This quick and easy soup is wholesome and nutritious. Red bell peppers are filled with vitamin C, vitamin A and carotenoids, making this a wonderful way to fight off a cold. Servings: 6

Here’s what you need:

  • 5 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded
  • 4 cups of chicken broth,
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt,
  • dash of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon of nutritional yeast
  1. Roast the bell peppers on a grill pan. Let them get really blackened. Place in a closed paper bag for 15 minutes. Peel off the skin, remove the seeds and stem.
  2. Transfer the roasted peppers and the remaining ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend until smooth then heat on the stove. It’s really delicious chilled, too. Garnish with a Tablespoon of coconut milk and chopped parsley. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 151 calories, 12g fat, 341mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 6g protein

Quick Tips – Pump Up Your Intensity

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Use these tips to increase the intensity of your workouts:

  • Add Some Resistance. Lunges, squats, hip bridges and even sit-ups can all be made more intense with some added resistance. A set of dumbbells, kettle bells, sand bags, medicine balls or resistance bands would do the trick. Pay attention to when the resistance starts to feel too easy, and add weights accordingly.
  • Increase Your Speed. If you think you could go faster, then do it. The more that you push yourself during your sprinting intervals, the quicker and more stunning your results will be. Remember, you can do anything for just a few seconds.
  • Lengthen Your Intervals. If your workout is starting to feel less challenging then add a few seconds to your intense intervals. Start by adding 5 seconds and go up from there.
  • Do New Exercises. For the best results, never do the same workout twice. There are many of small changes that can be made to keep a routine fresh and new. Swap out burpees for high knees, mountain climbers for jump squats and so on.

Time Saving Workouts Prove More Effective

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b0bb220206c12ff5_exerciseHow many times have you told yourself that you’d exercise and get fit, if only you had the time? If I had a dollar for time I’ve heard the I-don’t-have-time excuse… New and exciting research is coming out in favor of shorter, more intense workouts. The old way of exercising at a slow speed, for long periods of time, is over and done. Short and intense exercise sessions that utilize High Intensity Interval Training get you better results with way less time invested. So there goes the time crunch excuse. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym to get amazing results. A simple 30 minute workout, done right, is all you need.

So what does this magical 30 minute workout consist of?

As mentioned above, there’s a little secret in the fitness world called High Intensity Interval Training. This means rather than doing the same cardio exercise your entire workout, you’d alternate between short, high-intensity bursts of exercise with slower, low-intensity periods of recovery.

The research makes it clear that this method of training burns more calories and builds fitness quicker with less time invested.

Not long ago, elite athletes were the only ones benefiting from this method of training, but now the cat is out of the bag, and everyone is open to reap the rewards of interval training. And you don’t even need fancy equipment or special training to start seeing results with interval training.

So how long should your intervals be? The answer is, it doesn’t really matter.

There are no real hard-and-fast rules with interval length. Varying lengths bring varying benefits, so it’s important to find which length works best for you.

Beginners should aim for no more than 30 seconds of high-intensity bursts. If you’re feeling strong and are in good shape, then go ahead and push yourself a bit longer.

An interval-training workout involves four variables that can be modified to meet your goals: intensity of intervals, duration of intervals, duration of recovery intervals, and the number of interval repetitions.

Interval training can be casual, spur of the moment bursts of activity depending on how you’re feeling that day or if you’re working towards a specific sports or fitness goal then you can take a more sophisticated, scientific approach.

The simplest example of interval training for walking would be to add short bursts of jogging or alternate slower walking with brisk walking. If you walk outdoors, then jog or walk faster between certain landmarks such as mailboxes or street signs, then slow down for a short distance. The more popular, and effective, form of interval training includes alternating between resistance training exercises and high intensity cardio exercises.

So it turns out that we all really do have enough time to get an effective workout each day…and that old excuse about not having time is no longer going to work.

If you have a fitness or fat loss goal that you’d like to achieve, please feel free to reach out to me. I’m here to be your resource and your coach for all things fitness.

Call or email today to get started on a fitness program that will get you to your goal quicker.

You and I both know you have enough time for that!

Foodie Friday – Chocolate Mint Protein Shake

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9-15-2013Here’s a tasty way to get your protein. Blend up one of these Chocolate Mint Protein Shakes whenever you have the urge to eat a bowl of ice cream. It’s just as sweet and delicious, while being filled with the protein that your muscles need. Servings: 1

 

Here’s what you need…

  • 1 cup ice
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped dark chocolate
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 scoop high quality chocolate protein powder
  • a few drops of organic peppermint flavoring (find next to vanilla extract at the store)
  • fresh mint leaves to garnish (optional)
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender. Mix until smooth. Enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 198 calories, 6g fat, 80mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, and 20g protein

Quick Tips – I Exercise Because…

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Do you have a goal for each of your workouts? Having a goal is more important than you may think.

When each session is goal-oriented, you’ll get the most out of your exercise time.

Decide how many long you’ll go for, how many reps you’ll do and at what intensity before your workout begins. Then go for it.

To take it a step further, set clear goals, write them down, and keep a record of your workouts. There’s nothing quite like knowing exactly where you want to be, where you currently are, and what you’ve achieved.

Get The Most From Your Workout

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womanworkingout2This question might make you squirm, but I’m going to ask it anyway…

How effective are your workouts?

Do you regularly push yourself to the limit? Do you feel the burn with each rep? Do you have nothing left to give when it’s over?

Or would you describe your workout more like a comfortable trot? Do you coast along, breaking a respectable sweat while doing the same old routine?

Since you are spending a portion of your valuable time working out, I assume that you desire to have a slimmer and more toned body. And I also assume that if you had the option to achieve that slimmer, more toned body even faster you’d say, “Yes, please!”

The following tips are going to show you how to spend less time exercising, while achieving quicker, more noticeable results. Sounds good, right?

  • Be Focused. It sounds obvious, but this crucial requirement for an effective workout is often overlooked. Don’t be one of those people who exercise their jaw muscles (from chit chatting) more than any other muscles. When you’re lifting weights, focus on that specific muscle group. Researchers have proven significant increase in muscle activity when people focused on what they were doing, compared to thinking about unrelated topics.
  • Be Confused. Er, more specifically your muscles should be confused. Do this by changing up your routine often. This helps to avoid plateaus and to continuously challenge your body. Try new exercises at new intensities and new weights.
  • Be Nourished and Hydrated. Stay on top of your food and your hydration levels. The best results are achieve when you’re drinking enough water and eating real, wholesome foods.
  • Be Strategic. The time of day that you workout makes a huge difference in your results. And no, I’m not going to say that there’s a universal ‘right time’ to workout. Your job is to figure out when your body is at its best and to make that the time that you consistently exercise. If you’re not a morning person, then don’t force yourself to wake up at 5am, try working out after work instead.
  • Be Watched. There’s a benefit to working out in a group setting. Researchers saw a significant increase in strength and endurance in the people who had an audience versus those training on their own.
  • Be Caffeinated. Caffeine has been shown to help burn fat and to increase endurance. If you don’t have any medical conditions that would otherwise make moderate caffeine intake unsafe, then drink a caffeinated beverage one hour prior to working out.
  • Be Pumped Up. Check this out: researchers found that personal music motivated weightlifters to complete two more repetitions on average than those who were not listening to music. That’s a great reason to listen to upbeat music while you exercise.
  • Be Comfortable. Not only will you be happy to put comfortable workout clothes on, but you will also be able to focus better on your workout, rather than wondering if your pants will split when you squat.
  • Be Smart. If you’re not already one of my valued clients, then now is the time to become one. Working with a professional ensures that you’re being challenged and are seeing results. And that’s just smart, right?

If you don’t know where to start when it comes to exercise, I’m here to help.

It’s my passion to make exercise a part of your life that you look forward to and are rewarded by. Wouldn’t you like all of the healthy rewards of being fit?

Call or email me today and we will get you started on the exercise program that completely transforms your body.

Foodie Friday – BBQ Meatballs

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9-8-2013Here’s a wonderful protein-packed snack recipe. The addition of homemade BBQ sauce takes these meatballs from regular to extraordinary. Enjoy as a power snack or throw a couple on a pile of greens for a light meal. Makes: 18

 

Here’s what you need…

  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely minced
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut milk, canned, full fat
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 oz ground cooked ham
  • 12 oz ground raw pork
  • 1/3 cup coconut crystals
  • 2/3 cup organic, no-sugar-added ketchup
  • 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  1. In a large bowl combine eggs, almond flour, flax meal, onion, coconut milk, Dijon, and pepper. Add ground ham and ground pork; mix well. Shape into 18 balls, using about 1/4 cup mixture for each ball. Place ham balls in a lightly greased 2-quart rectangular baking dish.
  2. In a bowl combine coconut crystals, ketchup, vinegar, and Dijon. Stir until the coconut crystals dissolve. Pour a spoonful over each ham ball.
  3. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree F oven about 35 minutes or until done. Transfer ham balls to a serving platter and enjoy!

Nutritional Analysis: One meatball equals: 122 calories, 7g fat, 293mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, and 9g protein

Quick Tips – Why Is Sugar So Bad?

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Not only does it promote rapid fat storage, here are sugar’s other dirty little secrets:

  • Sugar Weakens Your Immune System
  • Sugar Causes Insulin Resistance
  • Sugar is As Addictive As Hard Drugs
  • Sugar Speeds Up the Aging Process
  • Sugar Raises Your Risk of Disease
  • Sugar Is Empty Calories

7 Ways To Crave Less Sugar

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XPIA5zIf I were to award a single food item with the title of ‘Fastest Way To Pack On The Pounds’, hands down the winner would be refined sugar.

We have been eating more and more sugar over the past 200 years, which has led to rising obesity numbers. Back in 1822 the average person ate only 6.3 lbs of sugar per year, compared to 130 lbs of sugar in 2012. That’s more than 20 times as much sugar in our modern diet! No wonder we are bigger than ever…

One of the reasons that your diet is filled with so much sugar is that some form of refined sugar is included in virtually every single processed food. This is yet another reason that it’s important to cut those processed and packaged convenience foods out of your diet.

Cutting sugar from your diet is easier said than done. Once it is a part of your daily diet, cravings strike, causing you to eat it even more frequently. But there is hope.

Here are 7 Ways To Crave Less of that Sugar that you’re eating that’s killing your results and keeping you from attaining your goal weight:

1) Eat More Protein
A diet rich in protein keeps you full, satisfied and less likely to crave sweets. A great way to make sure that you are getting enough is to plan each meal and snack around a protein. Plan breakfast around eggs, lunch and dinner around baked chicken breast, and make snacks hard boiled eggs or baked meatballs. Try the recipe below for a protein-packed, sugar-busting snack.

2) Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
One of the biggest fitness myths out there is the idea that calorie-free, artificially sweetened beverages don’t impact your fat loss results. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the truth is that the diet soda you’re sipping is making it harder for you to reach your goal weight. While the diet soda itself doesn’t contain calories, it has been proven to cause cravings for sugary foods. Put down the diet soda and instead pick up a refreshing bottle of spring water.

3) Steer Clear Of Saboteurs
The sad truth is that people in your life will try to sabotage your low sugar diet. You’ll run into that pushy person at the office who insists that you eat a donut, the well-meaning family member who dishes you up a bowl of ice cream, and the friend who comes over with a plate of her home-baked cookies. The best avoidance strategy is to sincerely thank the sugar-pusher for their gift, tell them you wish you could eat it, and then blame me – your trainer – as the bad guy who says that you need to cut back on sugar.

4) Try Dark Chocolate
For those moments when your sweet tooth is relentlessly badgering you for something sweet, ditch the super-sugary candies and stick with a small square of very dark chocolate. Chocolate that is 70% or higher in cocoa content should be the only candy that you keep on hand. The benefit of the cocoa, in addition to the lowered sugar content, makes dark chocolate an occasionally justifiable treat.

5) Stick With Fruit
What’s sweet, colorful and comes in hundreds of flavors? Organic, seasonal, fresh fruit, of course! As you remove refined sugar from your life, feel free to add in some natural sugar by way of fresh, local fruit. It’s amazing how satisfyingly sweet fruit is – it’s truly nature’s candy.

6) Change Your Palate
As you begin to limit your intake of refined sugars, you’ll find that your tolerance for sugar decreases. This means that something that didn’t taste sweet before – say a green apple – now has uncanny depths of sweetness. What’s happening is that your sweet receptors are becoming more finely tuned, now that you’re not overwhelming your palate with sickly-sweet refined sugar.

7) Workout Like You Mean It
A regular, challenging exercise routine will not only get you into amazing shape, it also reduces your cravings for sugar. The endorphin rush brought on by vigorous exercise is an even more powerful feel-good-feeling than the pleasure gotten by indulging in sugary foods.

Make challenging, consistent exercise a part of your life by committing to a fitness program. I’d love to get you to your goals using my results-driven method.

Simply call or email me today to get going.

Foodie Friday – No Bake Banana Chocolate Protein Bars

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9-1-2013Now you can quickly and easily make your own protein bars at home! This no bake recipe takes high quality protein powder and combines it with wholesome, real food ingredients to create a delicious protein bar to power your day. Store these in your freezer, then simply allow to defrost for a few minutes before enjoying.Serving: 10

Here’s what you need…

  • 1 cup vanilla protein powder
  • /4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup water (and more if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons mini chocolate chips
  • 1 oz dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  1. In a medium bowl combine the protein powder and coconut flour.
  2. In another medium bowl mash the bananas. Add the coconut milk, water and vanilla, mix until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined. If the batter is dry then add a few more drops of water. Mix in the chocolate chips.
  3. Line a freezer-safe plate with wax paper. Form the dough into 10 bars. Place on the wax paper and put in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  4. In a double boiler over medium-low heat (make your own by placing a small saucepan directly in a skillet that has few Tablespoons of water) melt the dark chocolate and coconut oil.
  5. Remove the bars from the freezer and drizzle or dip in the melted dark chocolate. Return to the freezer for 10 minutes until the chocolate has hardened.

Nutritional Analysis: One bar equals: 183 calories, 6g fat, 11g carbohydrate, 99mg sodium, 5g fiber, and 18g protein