Is Your Workout Keeping You Fat?

This excuse is used over and over again, “Working out is boring” or “I don’t have time to workout”.  If we are in the rut of doing the same exercises and cardio program at every work out; we are not giving our body what it needs to improve, of course we will become bored.  Our goal when working out is to tear down our muscles so that the body can build them to be stronger.  Although cardio is great, we are not all training to be long distance runners in the next Olympic games. The question is: Is Your Workout Keeping You Fat?

What our bodies need is interval and strength training.  Interval training pushes our boundaries and increases metabolism for up to 36 hours.  After a good workout we should not feel depleted of energy, we should feel energized. Once we adapt to our work out, change it, keep your body guessing what is coming next.  If a work out has become comfortable then we might only be maintaining, push through a new threshold.  Now we are not saying that working out should be painful.  We must be mindful of our body, we want to challenge ourselves to improve, we do not want to injure ourselves.  If we are using the treadmill start by running for 2 minutes then walk for a one minute, increase the incline and speed settings, creating variation in the workout.  Mix up each workout and have fun with it.

Is Your Workout Keeping You Fat?

Scales are not a good measure of progress, body fat and muscle tone are.  Remember that cardio does not build bone, only strength training does.  Get a balanced program of cardio and weight training.  Ask yourself if what you are doing is giving you the results you desire.  Track workouts to see what is giving the desired results.  We want to track the type of workout, the intensity, frequency and time.  Which category that is being tracked can be adjust to get more results?

If you have knee issues, strengthen your quad and hamstring muscles.  Add more fish oils to your diet.  Do exercises like stairs which are safer then lunges or walking lunges.  You can do strength training as long as you are aware of what modifications are more gentle on your body.  The hip and ankle directs which way your knee goes and the amount of torque on the knee.  When we strengthen the hip and ankle we strengthen the knee.  We must be aware of what works for our body and be kind to injuries.

Take a look at your future self and see if you want to be there.  Look at an elderly person as they struggle to walk, do you want to be there?  It’s a choice.  Changing your belief system and thought process will do wonders for your outlook.  Start exercising because you love yourself.  Understand the benefits you get from doing it and make it your why.  Do not allow excuses to dictate your life.

Be comfortable and appreciative of where you are and be open to where you are going.  The old and the new will co-exist for awhile like a caterpillar morphing into a beautiful butterfly.  Be patient with yourself, an amazing change is taking place.

Try this easy exercise circuit.

 Finish each work out with 5 minutes of stretching.



Photo Source Unknown


Pomegranate Squash

Pomegranate Squash

What You’ll Need:
2 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 1⁄2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bunches kale, chopped
1 1⁄2 cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄2 cup fresh pomegranate arils

What You’ll Do:
Preheat oven to 400°F. In a medium bowl, toss squash with 1⁄2 tablespoon oil. Spread squash onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast until tender. Remove squash from oven and let cool. Over low heat sauté onion, garlic and kale until the kale begins to wilt. Add the chickpeas, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the squash to the mixture with the lime juice and salt. Sprinkle with pomegranate arils and serve.

Reinvent Thanksgiving

The planning and shopping for Thanksgiving is already underway. Children will be excited to watch the Thanksgiving parade, there will be football and the amazing smell of turkey, stuffing and all the fix-ins permeating the house. Family and friends will gather around the table giving thanks for all the blessings the year has held. This year instead of the standard turkey sandwiches the day after Thanksgiving, lets reinvent Thanksgiving. Here are some tasty meal ideas for all the left over turkey. You could make:

Turkey Veggie Soup
Turkey Samosas
Turkey Pot Pie
Turkey Tetrazzini
Turkey & Noodles
Turkey Loaf
Turkey Stuffed Mushrooms
Turkey Nuggets
Asian Style Turkey Lettuce Wraps
Turkey Frittata
Turkey Waldorf Salad
Cobb Salad
Turkey Hash
Turkey Chili
Turkey Dumplings
Turkey Curry
Turkey Spring Rolls
Quesadillas, Tostadas or Tacos
Turkey & Cream Corn Soup

Stretch It Out

In the modern world we don’t move enough. Many of us get in our cars, drive to work in rush hour traffic, sit in our cubical for 8 or more hours, get back in our cars, drive home and then sit in front of the television before going to bed. It’s no wonder that our back and neck hurts and we feel stiff. If there is one thing I would suggest to improve your over all wellbeing, it would be that you begin stretching and doing yoga daily. Yoga is a great way to relieve stress, relax the body, promote circulation and harmony. Commit to doing 3 months of yoga. I know that if you take this practice seriously you will reap some wonderful benefits and feel a lot better. Exercise is like a drug, you will get addicted to it in the best way. Here are some simple stretches you can do at home or at the office to reduce lower back pain.




Yoga is a great way to begin and/or end each day. Here is a sequence that will energize your day.


Peanut Butter Granola Balls

Peanut Butter Granola Balls

L1060745What you’ll need:
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup packed brown sugar or coconut sugar
1/2 cup trail mix




What ya do:
Preheat the oven to 350°. On a baking sheet, toast oats and coconut for 10 minutes. Combine peanut butter, sugar and honey in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir continuously. Pour toasted oats and coconut along with the trail mix into a mixing bowl. Add the peanut butter mixture to your bowl of oats and stir. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes. With dampened hands shape into 1″ balls. This recipe makes about 20 granola balls. Store in an air tight container.



Sugar, Sugar

Eat less sugar, you’re already sweet enough. Sugar, seems to be in everything we consume. The recommended daily allowance of sugar for an adult is no more than 9.5 teaspoons. American adults are consuming a staggering 22 teaspoons daily. Many people are aware that consuming to much sugar is bad for your health. The alternative to sugar, sugar substitutes however are even more detrimental to our health. There is a lot of confusion surrounding sugar, sugar substitutes and what is considered healthy.

Consuming to much sugar can lead to a variety of health issues including: diabetes, weight gain, brain fog, sugar is known to feed cancer, aspartame is an excitotoxin (it excites brains cells to the point of death) and is known to eat holes in our brain, liver and kidney issues can ensue from consuming to much sugar and it compromises our immune systems.

We avoid the sugar substitutes:
Acesulfame K

Healthier sugar substitutes are:

This info graphic sums up our addiction to sugar. Be an informed consumer, read package labels and protect your health friends.

Stay Trim While Traveling

We live life on the go. When traveling plan head and pack healthy snacks to munch on. Check out the video above for tips to staying trim while traveling. Eating out does not mean we have to compromise eating healthy. Here are some tips to making healthier choices at restaurants.

  • Choose salads
  • Order smaller wild caught fish. Smaller fish are preferred because exposure to mercury is lessened, and wild caught fish are preferred because fish farmed in a self-contained system are treated with antibiotics and chemicals.
  • Never eat shrimp from a foreign country, as they are farmed and treated with antibiotics and chemicals that are illegal in the US.
  • Order salad dressings on the side – vinaigrette, not creamy
  • Order romaine, spinach, baby greens, etc. not iceberg lettuce
  • Order an omelet or other egg item with butter on the side
  • Order proteins, baked, broiled, or grilled not fried or breaded
  • Order sauces and gravies on the side (or not at all!)
  • Get vegetables of the day, not potatoes or rice (I ask for 2 servings of vegetables instead of the potatoes or rice)
  • Skip the bread altogether – ask waitperson not to bring it
  • Ask for real butter and never settle for margarine

Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

It’s the holiday season. And that means family dinners, cocktail parties, and lots of festive fare. But while the season is a welcome time for celebrating, it is all too easy to overindulge. A little planning and sound nutritional strategies can help you stay healthy through the holidays and maintain your weight to boot. Here are seven ways to maintain your health and keep your weight in check…

1. Keep Your Hormones Balanced
Stuffing with gravy, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie. Foods rich in refined and high-glycemic carbohydrates spike your blood sugar and put your body on a hormone roller coaster. This triggers more hunger and more eating. But you can avoid this vicious cycle by sticking to lean proteins (including organic poultry, wild fish, and grass-fed meats), healthy fats (like nuts and olive oil), and nutrient-rich veggies (especially leafy greens and crucifers). And beware of the refined carbs lurking in not-so-obvious places – like sauces and gravies made with white flour or “healthy” fruit salads with sugary dressings and jello with canned fruit.

2. Beware of Hidden Hydrogenation
Flaky-crusted appetizers and buttery pies, piping hot from the oven, are tempting. That is, until you find out that they’re loaded with trans-fats! Unless you made the dish yourself, err on the side of caution and assume the baked goods being served are of the store-bought variety (and therefore contain partially hydrogenated oils). If there’s any food to avoid during the holidays, it’s the puff pastries and pies. Reach, instead, for whole foods like shrimp cocktail, crudites, and baked sweet potatoes, or offer to bring a healthy, homemade, low-glycemic, gluten-free dessert.

3. Scope out the Feast First
With a large spread, and dozens of delicious dishes to choose from, it’s tempting to grab a big plate and sample everything the host has to offer. A good strategy is to scope out the buffet line first and choose the items you’ll be having (opting for the roasted Brussels sprouts instead of the creamy casserole, of course). Then, when it’s time to dine, opt for a small plate to help keep portions (i.e., calories) under control.

4. Don’t Fall Victim to Liquid Calories
While most cocktails have around 150 calories, festive sips (like traditional egg nog, spiked punches or alcoholic hot cocoa drinks) can pack a whopping 300 calories and more than 20 grams of sugar. Because your body doesn’t register liquid calories the same way it does calories from food, it’s all too easy to keep sipping those calorie-laden cocktails, without triggering a feeling of fullness. But it’s not just the calories that cause concern. It’s also the way our body processes alcohol. When you drink alcohol, your body will burn through acetate – a byproduct of alcohol metabolism – instead of body fat. Consume alcohol in moderation. And to reduce sugar and calories, opt for non-sweet cocktails and “cut” fruit juices with sparkling mineral water. (If you drink alcohol, be sure to see Strategy #7 below).

5. Give Your Old Desserts a Makeover
Did you know that one piece of pecan pie has more than 500 calories, 65 carbohydrates, and 32 grams of sugar? And that eating just 100 grams of sugar can reduce your immune system’s ability to fend off invaders by a whopping 40 percent! But the problem with sugar doesn’t end there. Sugar also disrupts the endocrine system, boosting your “fat storage hormone” (insulin), promoting cancer and speeding physical aging through the production of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs). The good news is that you can enjoy treats that have all of the sweetness of sugar… with none of the sour side effects. Simply replace the sugar in your baking with organic erythritol. This “almost sugar” is all-natural, has no calories, and has a glycemic index of zero. Use it cup for cup in all of your favorite recipes to safely sweeten and delight your guests. (Learn more about baking delicious desserts using erythritol and other all-natural, low glycemic sweeteners in Guilt Free Desserts).

6. Chew on This
Have you ever been “done” eating, only to find your way back to the buffet line one last time? Here’s a reliable way to send your body the message that the kitchen’s closed: Chew a piece of all-natural, sugar-free gum. Not only does peppermint taste terrible with sweet potatoes and turkey, but chewing gum for at least 45 minutes was found to suppress hunger, appetite and cravings, while promoting a feeling of fullness, according to recent research published in the journal Appetite. Look for Spry or B-Fresh gum at your local health food store. They’re made with all-natural xylitol – a low-glycemic sugar alcohol that also helps to reduce cavities.

7. Bolster Your Immune Arsenal
Our immune system isn’t something we typically think of… until it fails us. And the known immune wreckers – stress, alcohol, sugar, and lack of sleep and sunshine – are par for the course during the holidays. But here’s the good news: You can get your immune system in tip-top shape and bolster your defenses to guard against many of the most common winter woes. Taking a high-quality, whole-food multi-vitamin/mineral and a fish oil supplement can mean the difference between a happy, healthy winter an one plagued with illness.

Source: One of my favorite programs America’s 10 City Challenge produced this article. Join us for 30 days of free coaching to live a healthier life.