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Badda-Bing, Badda-Boom

The response to the last blog entry was overwhelmingly positive. So, why not continue the fun? Let’s consider this Part II…with a little twist. Following is a list of great finds that will help you cope with the stressful-excess-eating-pressure-filled-gift-giving-primping-indulging holidays.

The Holiday Hangover. You know the hangover is inevitable…but is it? This one is gold: Drink Before Elixir is a pre-cocktail beverage that claims “No hangovers & reduces redness”. The product’s goal is to “make it healthier and more comfortable for you to enjoy alcohol.” Giddy-up. Loaded with vitamins, potassium and amino acids, I was sold. So does it work? I say “Hell, yes.” Worked for me during a crazy weekend outing when drinks started pouring at 2 pm and the night ended at 3 am. Yep, I still got it. No hangover, no nausea, no problem. Find it on Amazon.

Loyalty Program. Who doesn’t love the Bed Bath and Beyond 20% off coupons, especially for holiday shopping? I can’t keep them in the house. If I wasn’t enough of a loyal customer before, now they really got me. They started a new loyalty program where you pay $29/year for an on-going 20% off your entire purchase. If you receive this exclusive invite…jump on it. Pure brilliance. Here’s more info.

Learn How To Read Your Body. This one is key. Especially during the holidays. Note what causes reactions to your body. Are you unusually bloated after you drink dairy? Do you crash hard after eating carbs? Are you unbearable after eating sugar? Are you especially thirsty in the evenings or AM from not drinking enough water or eating too much salt? Are you super lethargic in the morning from over-eating at night? Listen to these triggers and avoid them. Keep a journal of these reactions and when they occur and you will have incredible insights on how to feel and look better.

Luscious Lashes. We think holidays and we think lash extensions and falsies. There’s a new solution. No more expensive applications or over-promising mascaras. Rodan & Fields just launched this product called Lash Boost with clinical trials resulting in 85% longer, 90% fuller, 63% darker lashes with results in 4 weeks. And they’re killin’ it. Forget the iris-changing, crazy side effects of Latisse. Started mine 2 weeks ago and the difference is remarkably noticeable. They are offering a holiday gift with purchase – free cosmetic bag and eye cream. And now that I have access, so do you (or your favorite gift recipient). Buy here.

Get Matcha’d: I have searched for a good, authentic Matcha Tea for a long time  – however, most of them (including Starbucks) are not the real deal. I recently stumbled upon Motto Sparkling Matcha Tea: made to “make you feel and think better”. For centuries, Matcha has prepared Buddhist monks for meditation and readied samurai warriors for battle. Ok, so I’m neither – but I do frequently adorn my Wonder Woman cape. This Matcha tea is supposed to be a powerful agent of health, wellness and natural energy. Sugars are higher than I would normally grab (13 per bottle) but no more than the natural sugars in my afternoon latte. Small handcrafted batches made up of sparkling water, Matcha green tea, honey, organic agave, fresh lemon juice, organic apple cidar videgar and natural plant extract. (found it at Kings)

Read The Label: The most important thing in weight maintenance is reading the nutrition label. All too often, especially during the holidays, we have this “all or nothing” mentality. “I’ll get back into shape after the holidays.” Which I never truly understood why you would sacrifice 2 months of your life to binge eating. It only results in a guilt-filled, reluctant New Year with unreasonable “now I have to make up for lost time” pound abolishing goals. Learn to read nutrition contents and ingredients and always practice portion control. You can start using 4th grade math: If a serving contains 120 calories, 9 grams of sugar, 18 grams of carbs and 2 grams of saturated fat and there are 5 servings in the bag – and you eat the entire bag (and many of these bags are small and manageable enough to do just that), you have just indulged in 600 calories, 45 grams of sugar, 90 grams of carbs and 10 grams of saturated fat. Can you say sabotage?

Kill The Temptation. Want desperately to eat something on your plate you know is not the best choice? Spill water on it. Ever take a look at left-over food in the kitchen sink? Not very appetizing. Bet ya won’t want it anymore after it’s doused with water.

Talk In Code. We have all that partner in crime that we confide in at a holiday dinner. I mentioned The Skimm in my last write-up but what I forgot to mention was the kick-ass acronym cheat sheet they offer with the latest and greatest social uses. This one’s a must – read here (how fun to practice them over turkey dinner). And if you still haven’t joined The Skimm – do it now.

Burn Fat. There is a pretty good chance you will be indulging during the holidays (avoid making it a month-long habit). The key is to get your heart rate high enough to use up your stored glucose and get into the fat burning zone. How do you do that? Intervals. Workout example for a runner: Warm up 5 minutes at moderate rate (4.5 mph). Jog at a steady pace for 5 minutes (6.0 mph), then exert yourself running at a much faster pace (6.8-7.0) for 2 minutes. You should be breathing heavily and trying to catch your breath for those 2 minutes. Repeat that 5 min/2 min cycle for 30+ minutes, 2-3 times a week. This is the same concept of Tabata. High intervals with moderate rests in between. Adjust the times/pace to your level. Walkers walk for the 5 min and light jog/speed walk for the 2.

And that’s all folks. If you are looking for more tidbits or are interesting in a private nutrition counseling session, email me at dakarrat@yahoo.com. Happy, healthy holidays.

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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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