Clean Eating, Diet, Health, Healthy Eating

Are you too Acidic? Try increasing your Alkalinity!

Are you too acidic?

The Standard American Diet is SAD and can be putting you at risk for having an overly acidic ecosystem for your body.  Most people are eating foods that are highly processed and refined, packed with chemicals and sugar.  On top of that, we live in a society that is primed to be always on the go, so we are more stressed and our environment is packed with pollution and other irritants.  Our bodies are overworked and under-nourished.

Being highly acidic can be detrimental to your health, because the body is unable to operate it’s optimal level for the day to day functions.  This includes your digestion, your metabolism, and your body’s ability to detoxify itself.  It also can negatively affect your immune system, as an acidic environment, become a field day for diseases, viruses, and bacteria to thrive to create sickness, illness, and pain.

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In order to change the acidic tides in our body’s ecosystem we must add more alkalinity to create more of a balance.  When your body is more alkaline, you will be able to neutralize your bloodstream, increase the oxygen levels in your body, which can results in more energy and improved metabolic functions (which could also help with weight loss).   Your body strives and craves a more alkaline environment and you will feel better when you can achieve it.

One of the easiest ways to do this is by eliminating the junk food, overly processed and refined grains and sugars, and keeping the meat and dairy to a minimum (AKA “Eat Clean”).  Replace more alkaline foods to your diet like dark leafy greens, fruits, vegetables. Think of it as eating your colors and focusing on foods that have a higher nutritional density.  For example, one of my favorite meals is a Kale salad packed with tons of colorful veggies and a lean protein.


Another option is to change your water to Alkaline Water. I recently started using a Tyent Water Ionizer to help me with staying hydrated (because I don’t drink enough water) and to also help with having a more ph balanced body, as I am now doing more marathon training, teaching more bootcamps, and will soon repeat the Ultimate Reset again.  The water unit, is pretty amazing because I am able to select my ph levels for my water. This has been one of the easiest ways for me to stay on track with my hydration and my ph balance. So far, I’ve noticed more energy, my skin has been clearer and I’ve also found that my joints and muscles don’t feel as stiff when I wake up or after a workout.

I’m looking forward to seeing how increasing my alkaline levels will help me over the next few months with my races and my Ultimate Reset. I’ll keep you posted on that!

 

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Clean Eating, Diet, Gluten Free, Health, Healthy Eating, Recipes, Weight Loss, Workout

5 Tips to Survive Thanksgiving (and the Holiday Season)

IMG_4340Well, Thanksgiving aka THE ULTIMATE CHEAT MEAL DAY, is upon us and for some that could be the opening of Pandora’s Box when it comes to staying on track with your health and fitness goals.   According to the John Hopkins Weight Management Center, people gain 7 – 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve.  Which isn’t too surprising with most people packing in around 3,000 calories during their Thanksgiving Meal. (That’s right, I said meal, that doesn’t include the post nap leftovers and late night turkey sandwiches).

On top of that, Thanksgiving kicks off the Holiday Party and travel season, where your calendar gets filled with social events and visiting friends and family.  Which can lead to higher stress, minimal sleep, and less time to spend on your needs, wants and goals.  I know that I am being a bit of a downer when it comes to the holidays, as it pertains to your health and fitness goals, but you can still be victorious this holiday season and stay on track!

Here are my top 10 Tips & Tricks to Survive Thanksgiving & The Holidays

  1. Have a Plan: As I mentioned, this time of year can be stressful and you can be pulled many different directions, but if you can take the time now to plan out your holiday schedule with work, social events, travel, and family, you will feel less stressed, which will keep your cortisol (aka the Fat & Stress Hormone) levels down.  Once you have a better idea of what your holiday season will look like, take some time plan out your workouts. Your workouts should be a priority and when you schedule things into your calendar, just as you would a meeting, your chances for working out increase greatly.
  2. Set Realistic Goals & Have Realistic Expectations: Chances are, you won’t be able to spend as much time working out or meal prepping as you would want during this Holiday Season, which is totally okay. The key is to make a valiant effort, but also realistic with what you can physically do.  If you know that you only have 30 minutes to workout, focus on doing High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts that get your heart rate up and burn fat in only 30 minutes or if you can’t make it to the gym, hop on to YouTube and find a workout video to do at home.  If you are on the road and can’t do a full meal prep of your meals, at least pack healthy snacks to take with you and do your best to make healthy choices at non-social meals.   The key is to have a “No Excuses” mentality and make it work.
  3. Be Mindful: This one is a great one for Thanksgiving, as you will be bombarded with tons of food, the key is to think about what you are eating and pay attention to how your body feels.  On Thanksgiving, I aim to have half of my plate full of all of the green vegetables that are available – salad, green beans, brussel sprouts, etc – then I add the turkey.  Most of my meals consist of green veggies and protein, so I’m still able to be on track.  After that, I take a small scoop of whatever carby deliciousness I can find – stuffing, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauces, macaroni and cheese.  Remember, it’s just a scoop!  When eating my meal, I take my time, chew eat bite and enjoy each morsel.  I also give myself a 20 minute break after my first plate, to decide if I am still hungry (which I’m normally not). This helps to keep me from overeating and ensure that I actually enjoy my meal without feeling stuffed.  I also give myself a designated dessert time, so that way I can be ready to really my dessert. Here’s a video that gives a great overview of how to create your plate for Thanksgiving.
  4. Stay Hydrated: Remember that there are many calories hidden in many holiday beverages. Your best bet is to stick with drinking as much water as possible throughout the day, as many times, we mistake thirst for hunger.  When it comes to your holiday meals and parties, alternating between a cocktail and a glass of water (sparkling, if you want to be fancy) is your best bet to stay on track. I personally, love a glass of champagne, as it is lower in calories and quite festive. If you want to get ideas of how to jazz up your water, check out these fruit infused water recipes. 
  5. Eat Breakfast: One of the best ways that I have been able to stay on track, during the holidays or when I travel, is to make sure that I eat breakfast.  I aim to have a breakfast that has a good mix of protein, fiber, and good carbs, to ensure that I stay full throughout the day and get a good dose of nutrition to start my day.  Eating breakfast during the crazy holiday season, can also help you to avoid overeating when attending Thanksgiving Dinner and holiday events. Before Thanksgiving eat a big, yet healthy, breakfast to ensure that you arrive for dinner not starving and you will be able to enjoy your meal and yourself, without feeling stuffed or without the guilt of eating 3,000 calories.

Hopefully, you found these tips helpful and if you are looking for some healthy recipes for Thanksgiving, check out my Pintrest Board or my menu from last year’s Gluten Free Thanksgiving. 

Recipes, Weight Loss

Time to get back to it!

Roasted Turkey Breast with Pan Gravy, Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Carmelized Onions & Bacon, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole, and Chicken Sausage Stuffing with 1 roll.
Roasted Turkey Breast with Pan Gravy, Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Carmelized Onions & Bacon, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole, and Chicken Sausage Stuffing with 1 roll.

Okay, so Thanksgiving is over, how did you do? Me, I did pretty well. I cooked the entire meal and my goal was to create a menu that still had great flavor, but was a bit healthier than my traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  Hey, I’m from the South, so the usual plate is about 2,000 calories. Gasp! And I usually go back from seconds or thirds.  This year I stuck with one plate and by creating healthier options and getting in a 25 minute HIIT workout, I was able to stay within my daily calorie limit on myfitnesspal…SWEET!

Now, is time to get back to it and stay focused on eating healthy over the next few weeks. Did you know that on average, people gain 5 – 10 pounds between Halloween and New Years Day? Most people let the holidays come and go and eat whatever they want and reduce their physical activity, with the thought that they will get back to it January 1 with their New Years Resolution.  Unfortunately, this thinking can set you up for failure because you are now 5 – 10 pounds heavier at the start of the New Year, meaning you have to lose even more weight and you are probably out of shape, so it will be harder to get back into the swing of things. I want you to be successful in reaching your goals this year and also to make them stick in 2014.  Here are some tips to help you over the next few weeks:

  1. Drink lots of water.  I have a 21 Day Fitness Accountability group starting on December 2nd and one of the things that we will focus on is drinking 80 ounces of water a day.  Why? It helps to keep us full, flush out toxins, help reduce the bloat, and to keep your hydrated.  Try drinking a cup of hot water with lemon first thing in the morning and drinking a glass of water before meals and especially before heading out to holiday parties and dinners.
  2. Get 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week. I know that it is cold out and you may not want to get the car to drive to the gym, but doing anything that will get your heart rate up for 30 minutes 5 days a week, will help keep your metabolism up and help to burn calories.  If you need some home fitness programs, I can definitely help you pick out some, but also, here are some free workouts that you can do at home that are about 30 minutes.
  3. Incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet.  Over the holidays, most people go overboard on sweets and tons of carb loaded dishes. Do yourself a favor, by eating fruits and veggies to help keep the calories low, in the event that you do overindulge throughout the weeks.
  4. Eat a breakfast packed with protein and fiber. This will keep you full, fueled, and help to break cravings that you may have. Try Shakeology if you need something super healthy and super quick!

Hopefully, these tips will help you to stay focused on keeping the weight loss down.  If you need more help staying accountable, let me know, you are more than welcome to join my December 2nd Fitness Accountability group. 🙂

Clean Eating, Diet, Fitness, Health, Healthy Eating, Motivation, Personal Development, Workout

10 Tips to Fight Winter Weight Gain!

For some of you in the Northeast and Midwest, you probably experienced pretty mild weather for December last week, but nonetheless, it is still December.  And that means holiday parties, cookies, dinners, and all things peppermint (lattes, bark, cookies, candies, etc).  Most of the people that I work with when helping them with their weight loss and fitness journey, tend to lose momentum around this time of year.  Here are some tips that I have shared with them to help them out, so hopefully you will find this helpful as well!

  1. Drink LOTS of Water: Drinking water has many benefits, but one thing that I do now is increase my water intake because when I’m tempted to eat poorly or am surrounded by tons of sweets, I may not even be hungry for those things.  So I drink a big glass of water to help curb my appetite.  If I’m still tempted, I will most likely not as much because of the water.
  2. Drink Green Tea: I know that it is cold outside and sometimes you want something warm and comforting. Trade in the hot chocolate and lattes for a cup of green tea.  Green tea has metabolism boosting properties and can help to keep you burning calories!
  3. Schedule Your Workouts: With all of the parties and end of the year minutia your days and nights can be pretty packed.  Make your workouts a priority by scheduling them – write it down in your day planner or set an alert in your phone or put it on your to do list.  This will help you stay committed to your workouts if you know that you have it on your day’s plan of activities.
  4.  Eat Healthy Snacks: To keep yourself from being tempted by the varieties of goodies that circulate around the home and office, pack a few healthy snack options to keep in your purse, your desk or your car.  This way, you can choose to eat healthier options and not feel left out.  Try savory and sweet mixes to satisfy you like almonds and cranberries or apples and peanut butter.  Or even check out these Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups or Fudgy Oat Bars.
  5. Order a Salad Appetizer: When you are out to dinner with family and friends, always order a salad with tons of veggies and choose a low fat/low calorie dressing and have it on the side.  Eat your salad slowly and drink a glass of water with it.  This will help to fill you up so you will be less likely to over-indulge on your lunch or dinner.
  6. Drink Shakeology: This is a no-brainer to me because not only is it one of the most healthiest shakes around, but it also helps to eliminate your cravings and gives you tons of energy.
  7. Alternate Alcoholic drinks with water: If you can, I say avoid the drinks all together because they can increase your daily caloric intake tremendously, but if you want to partake, alternate your drinks starting with a glass of water first then have an alcoholic drink.  This will help to keep limit your intake, because drinking your calories can be a major setback, and also help you to stay sober and avoid hangovers.
  8. Eat Your Veggies First: If you are at a party scope out the crudite first and fill your plate with veggies or if you are at a lunch or dinner, eat the veggies on your plate first. This ensures that you load up on the healthiest stuff first which can limit the amount of the not-so-healthy stuff and desserts.
  9. Wear Comfortable Shoes: When you are out a holiday parties, this can be helpful because the second that your feet hurt you will most likely grab a drink, fill a plate and take a seat and stay there the entire night, instead of being up and walking around and if you are like me, dancing the night away.  Cheap trick to burn a few extra calories 🙂
  10. Forgive Yourself: If you do have a day or night where you over-indulge, don’t sweat it. It happens.  Forgive yourself and realize that tomorrow is a brand new day.  Many people let one bad day ruin all of the progress that they have made by simply quitting.  Stick with it and enjoy your holidays.

Hopefully, these tips will provide you with some options of how to stay on track to reaching your health and fitness goals!