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It’s Like Butter!

Want to know the best diet, best keep coffee secret, fat zappers and surprising health facts? You’ve come to the right place. As part of the health and nutrition industry, I am consistently being introduced to new products, tidbits and procedures. As always, I will continue to share these ideas to my devout co-fitness/nutrition comrades.Good-Fats-Vs-Bad-Fats

Food delivery. Ok, the food the delivery market has expanded tremendously since my husband first worked for Plated, one of the only 2 initial players in the market. Now there are dozens. And have I found a treat. Responsibly sourced, organic, delicious, healthy meals with pre-measured ingredients, delivered to your door step every week with step-by step instructions on cooking gourmet recipes in under 30 minutes. Whew! No brainer. Did I mention organic? For four free meals click here: http://greenchef.com/invite/nqzrd4

Butter coffee. Most of you have probably heard about Bulletproof® (grass-fed) butter coffee. But did you know the benefits of drinking it and that you can make your own??

Grass fed organic ghee butter has:

  • The good fats that regulate cholesterol and have the best ratio of omega-6 to omega 3 fatty acids (translation: reduces body fat)
  • Is a good source of Vit K (reduces heart disease)
  • Is a healthy fat source for your brain and body and increases energy while being anti-inflammatory
  • Drinking it in the morning prepares your body to burn fat all day
  • “They” say it can be a meal replacement in the early morning (essential fats and calories provide higher performance than carb)

How to make it: Start with organic brewed coffee, organic grass-fed ghee butter, and if desired, Brain Octane or XCT oil (I do not use this but great benefits!). I simply add a ½ tsp of the butter to my coffee in the am. For more details, Google “home-made butter coffee”.

Endermologie treatment – I just had my first at Just Be Smooth in Millburn, NJ. It is a sub-dermal approach to treating and reducing cellulite, love handles/saddlebags, muscle soreness or aches, toning/smoothing your skin, improving circulation and reshaping your body. It’s non-invasive, safe and completely natural.

You slip into spanks-like full body tights and the machine vacuums each part of your body. It was extremely relaxing and rejuvenating. Although I only did 1 session (it typically takes approx. 14 sessions to reap the benefits), I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I have a few discounted coupons for anyone that would like to try it. Just email me: info@heelstolaces.com

Eat more fat. I recently found myself very sluggish and fatigued – all the time. I eat very healthy and pure (minus weekend indulgences) and could not figure out the culprit. One of the trainers I work with at YB suggested I needed to up my fat/protein intake and further reduce my carbs/sugars/dairy. So, I tried it. It wasn’t hard or too deviant from what I have already been doing. The result? A big surge in energy and big decrease in inflammation. Some things I have added/increased: butter coffee, nuts, seeds, oils, avocados, eggs (the whole egg), pure lean meats/fishes.

Walking. Most of you know, I teach HIIT (high intensity interval training). I am a huge believer in its steadfast results and efficiency. However, recently I have been adding walking to my weekly routine. Walking is how I initially lost my baby fat, very quickly. Why walking? I was looking for a way to get more centered…contemplating yoga or even barre. Quickly remembered I am too ADD for those classes. I now use walking to:

  • Decompress
  • As a form of quiet meditation
  • For a boost of energy if I am tired
  • To destress
  • To build long, lean muscles
  • For added stretching and flexibility
  • To breathe fresh air

A brisk, quick walk will also prevent or manage heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, strengthens your bones and muscles, improve your mood and adds balance and coordination. Try it. You’ll see what I mean.

Protein Cookies. Received this amazing recipe from K2 Fitness and altered it a bit. Super easy – takes 15 minutes to make (including cooking time) and is full protein snack. My kids love it!:

  • Mash 2 bananas…add 1 cup quick oats, ½ c vanilla protein powder (I used pure Whey protein, unflavored), ¼ cup almond, peanut OR soy nut butter (for those with allergies), 1 tsp vanilla extract, ¼ cup dark choc chips (use as many organic ingredients as possible). Scoop balls of dough onto lined cookie sheet – bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Wa-lah!

The Rapid Egg Cooker. Life changer. Thank you, BFF. The Dash Rapid Egg Cooker cooks hard boiled eggs in about 6 minutes. No more old school boiling water. And, they peel perfectly. Great, quick meal or snack. Done and done. Find it here or at Home Goods/TJ Maxx.

The SKIMM. I have talked about this before and I will continue to tout what an incredible edition this has been to my life. I-am-so-informed. Cheeky, quick daily review of the biggest news topics in an easy to read, easy to understand, hilarious format. Why is this part of health and nutrition? Because it makes me feel so much smarter and well informed, which triggers positive endorphins and knowledgeable conversations . It’s how I start my day with my morning coffee: Sign up here.

That’s this month’s version of “Healthy Finds”. Until next time…

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Summer Slumpin’

Ahh Summer. Slower, unstructured days, kids home, relaxing times. All good.keep-calm-and-relax-it-s-summer

Or not. Give me some structure and give it to me now.

My life is all about my kids. Literally. Despite my busy lifestyle and multiple career paths, my #1 job is to keep them fed, healthy and safe. During the school year, my days are completely structured with a schedule of maintaining my marketing business, training clients and keeping  the household afloat with quiet, focused time abound.

I have calculated that since the summer began (and we all know it began well before school ended), I have had exactly 17 minutes and 43 seconds to myself (ok, so maybe that’s a slight exaggeration). Not gonna lie, I have shed a few “I’m gonna lose my mind” tears. I am a mom that truly adores her children; yet I have found myself not being able to focus with a clear mind for more than 5 seconds (I refer to it as “mom ADD”) or have any “me” time. The struggle is real.

The luxury of healthy meal planning is out the window (mostly because the kids eat me out of house and home 12 hours a day) since we are at sport practices/games 6-7 nights of the week –  so dinner is typically at 4:30 or 8:00 pm and although in the category of healthy, it’s something quick and easily digestible. No time for mama to truly feed (or eat) a proper meal.  I find myself grabbing and picking all day – just to sustain enough energy to plow through.

Although I am (somehow) able to maintain regular workouts, I feel out of sorts and exhausted trying to add some normalcy to my days.

Sound familiar?

So, you ask…”What’s the solution?”

Let it go…Let it gooooo…Summer is the exact right time to loosen up your schedule. To enjoy the moment. To realize time is precious and the future is promising. Instead of fighting it, try to embrace it.

Some tips on how to make the most out of the unstructured-ness:

  1. Continue to fuel your body with as much healthy food as possible. Even if it’s grab-n-go try to choose unprocessed, organic and non-GMO. Tried to avoid eating out more than 2x’s per week.
  2. Keep physical. Kids home and can’t get to a class? Try the free 7-Minute Workout on iTunes or load the Nike Trainer app and get it done in your home. Aim for 3 really challenging workouts/week.
  3. Carve out YOU time….away from the kids. Away from noise. Designate your evenings to reading a book in a quiet space. Get up early to have an hour of quiet time with you and your coffee.
  4. Enjoy a cocktail (or two). Preferably during a night out with friends while wearing a swanky summer outfit. Try to keep it to something lighter like wine or spritzers. Not so much on the margaritas or Jack and coke.
  5. Hide from your kids. Just for a bit. In an office, in the basement, in your attic. Whatever works. Notice how they will find a game to play or a show to watch (I have them do 30 minutes in a summer workbook every day) and get some work done or cross off some to-dos. When we check things off our list, it makes us feel accomplished and less stressed.
  6. Drink a full pint of water first thing in the morning. It flushes out your system, hydrates you from the summer heat and gives you more energy for the day ahead.
  7. Sleep in. It’s ok. Everything will be waiting for you.
  8. Eat ice cream. Sundays are for Sundaes. That once a week indulgence is so worth it.
  9. Take a day trip. When we escape from the mundane, we become refreshed.
  10. Play music. It changes everything.
  11. Look forward. Planning things to look forward to in the future keeps us happy and optimistic.

And off I go to practice what I preach…

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Sick Of It

athlete-fatigueDo you work out, eat well and take care of yourself yet often find you are sick or tired all the time?

Despite taking such good care of your body, if you are an avid exerciser and fitness enthusiast you can actually break down your immune system with overtraining. Many factors associated with overtraining compromise an athlete’s immune system. In fact, upper respiratory infections are actually very common in athletes.

This was a big topic during the training for my Nutrition Certification I just completed this past week. Let’s break it down.

What Happens?
When you exercise, there is an increase in stress hormones which leads to high inflammatory markers (bi-products of chronic stress). There is also a decrease in innate and acquired immunity.

Interesting Fact: 90 minutes after strenuous activity, your immunity is the lowest and you are more apt to get sick! It’s important to refrain from putting your hands near your mouth or eyes (the most susceptible areas of the body) post exercise & wash your hands immediately.

How Do I Keep The Sickness and Fatigue Away?

Protein
Protein is a key component to building immunity. Make sure you are getting adequate amounts. Your daily protein intake should be between 0.8-1.8 grams per 2.2 lbs. The high or low range depends on your activity level. An average adult needs about 0.8 – 1.2 g/2.2 lbs. where a strength athlete needs between 1.4-1.8 g/2.2 lbs.

Example: For a 150 pound active woman: divide 150 by 2.2lbs and multiply that number by about 1.2 grams of protein. Total = 82 grams of protein per day.

Vitamins and Minerals
There are several vitamins and minerals that work as anti-oxidants and help keep your immunity strong including Vitamin A, E, B6, B12, C and Folic Acid. Zinc and Iron are also important, but they should be ingested in moderation as too much can actually have the opposite effect and lower immunity. Most of these vitamins/minerals can be ingested in the food you eat: green leafy veggies, beans, eggs, dairy, lean meats, fruits and whole grains.

Ingest Carbs
Eating carbs post-exercise is said to help build your immune system and reduce stress hormones. We are not talking about eating a box of crackers or bag of pretzels – try to keep to “real” foods such as fruits, veggies and healthy grains.

Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is critical to helping your body function. Dehydration can be the main reason for fatigue. When you exercise, especially in hotter weather, it’s important to rehydrate 125-150% of fluid loss during exercise. Thirst is regulated in the brain. You are already very dehydrated when you even begin to feel thirsty.  You have to stay ahead of it.

Probiotics
I have professed my belief in probiotics for years – studies suggest probiotic and prebiotic ingestion in athletes reduces sick days.

Polyphenols
Polyphenols are abundant micronutrients in our diet, and evidence for their role in the prevention of degenerative diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases is emerging. They are said to be great stress inhibitors and promote immunity. These can be found in foods like kale, hot peppers, onion, apples, etc. Here is a list of 100 richest dietary sources of polyphenols.

Sleep
As I preach to my clients all the time, adequate rest is crucial for an athlete’s recovery and keeps stress hormones low and repairs mental and physical function. Consistent sleep patterns and getting enough sleep to repair your body is crucial in keeping your immunity & performance levels high and stress hormones low.

Stress
And of course, keeping regular stress at bay is a big component. The more stressed you are, the lower your immunity levels and higher your fatigue. Your body may even start to hold onto some fat. The unfortunate result is when we are chronically stressed by life crises and work-life demands, we are prone to getting an extra layer of “visceral fat” deep in our bellies.

Nutrition is a big component of your day to day. It dictates everything – how your body responds to stress, your energy level and a strong immune system. Getting enough anti-oxidants, keeping stress levels in control and being able to replenish & repair your body are key to optimizing your health and energy levels.

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