The Super Seven: Seven Foods To Blast Your Metabolism.

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Here’s a little nutrition nugget to start your week with. Eat these 7 food to rev up your metabolism. First of all, your metabolism is how your body processes energy. If you have a slow metabolism, you are more prone to store energy as fat. Incorporating these 7 foods into your daily diet will aid in burning fat, increasing your metabolic rate and suppressing your appetite.

1. Chili Peppers (and other spicy foods): Chilis contain the compound Capsaicin. Capsaicin acts as a thermogenic, meaning that it causes your metabolic rate to increase and in turn, you burn more fat.

2. Yogurt (I prefer Greek style yogurt for its rich, creamy consistency): Yogurt contains probiotics (you’ll also find probiotics in foods like Kombucha and Tempeh). Probiotics are actually good strains of bacteria that work in your gut to improve digestion and help you process your food more efficiently.

3. Grapefruit: Numerous studies have shown that a little grapefruit or grapefruit juice before meals can lead to increased weight loss in a healthy calorie conscious diet. It is also rich in antioxidants, vitamin C and vitamin A.

4. Coffee, Tea and Caffeine: Like capsaicin, caffeine is proven to have thermogenic properties which means it helps you burn calories. The key is to try to keep your cup of coffee or tea free from all of the sugar, fat and other “junk” we tend to dump into it.

5. Raspberries: Recent studies have shown that the ketones in raspberries help to burn fat, particularly liver fat. And raspberries are a great source of Vitamin C and fiber.

6. Eggs: Eggs for breakfast is an excellent choice because eggs are protein rich, they won’t flood your body with glucose first thing in the morning. Studies show that moderate intake of eggs (about 2 per day) won’t have a negative impact on cholesterol. In fact, some studies have shown that they might even improve it. I usually like my scramble or omelet with one whole egg and one egg white.

7. Water: We all should know that we must drink lots and lots of water. Water has numerous benefits – it flushes toxins and helps to regulate your body temperature (among many others). It also helps to promote satiety so if you drink it before a meal you are likely to eat less. A good way to determine how much water you should drink, take your weight, divide it by 2 and the resulting number is how many ounces of water you need to drink each day. Be sure to adjust it by adding 8 – 12 ounces for every hour of strenuous exercise you are doing each day. So, for example, I weigh 120 lbs. 120 divided by 2 = 60. So I should be drinking at least 60 ounces of water per day. (I drink 60 – 80 depending on my workout).

Has this information been helpful to you? Will you be incorporating any of these foods into your diet?

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H2 OHHHH! Are you Drinking Enough of it?

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Are you drinking enough water? Do you know how much water you should drink each day? Here’s a simple calculation… Take your body weight and divide it by 2. The resulting number should be how many ounces of water you should be drinking each day. Now if you are doing strenuous exercise, you should add 8 to 12 ounces for every half hour you do.

So you don’t like the taste of water? Today I added strawberry and pineapple slices to my water. Here are some simple ways to add some natural, delicious flavors to your water:

Add fruit, or any combination of your favorite fruit.

Try adding (and feel free to mix, match and combine to create a flavor you love:
Lemon Lime Orange Strawberry Kiwi Cucumber Frozen Grapes Watermelon cubes. 

Then add in your herbs – try Mint leaves Basil Grated Ginger and Rosemary Leaves. 

You can also make fruit and herb ice cubes with any combination of the above. 

Pretty simple, huh?

Now DRINK UP!

THE UGLY TRUTH ABOUT ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS

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Ok… so if you know me then you know how I feel about Splenda and how when it first came out on the market I spilled a pile of it on my kitchen counter top, let it sit overnight and the next morning found dead ants in and around it (I know, yuck, we had an ant problem). Not only that but I noticed after I started using it regularly, I developed really bad Cysteine acne. And that led me to sharing this information with you today. I think will be helpful for you all in your weight loss and health journey moving forward! 

So here is what to avoid and why Why?
The FDA has approved five artificial sweeteners: saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, and sucralose. You may know these as Equal, Sweet N Low, or Splenda. But these sweeteners show up in more than just bright colored packets at a restaurant. They are in diet sodas, yogurt, canned foods, jelly, and most other foods with the labels “sugar free” or “diet.” These labels can be very misleading. They make you think you are making healthy choices and are helping you with your diet goals.

 

REST DAY – AHHHHHH…

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Rest:

The refreshing, quiet repose of sleep

The refreshing ease or inactivity after exertion or labor

Relief or freedom, especially from trouble, anxiety, etc.

Mental or spiritual calm; Tranquility

Cessation or absence of motion

Music – an interval of silence between tones

To be at ease, have tranquility or peace

 

Today is your day to rest!  Enjoy!

Rest doesn’t always mean sitting or lying silently or sleeping (although that can be a wonderful thing). Rest is about renewal.  Calming your mind and spirit and participating in activities that help to create a sense of peace and freedom in your mind, body and soul.  So take the day and make it yours.  

Spend time with family and friends. Have a picnic or backyard barbecue.  Enjoy being outside, the green grass, sunshine, fresh air.  A game of horse shoes, or frisbee or just listening to music.  

Enjoy time alone in a favorite place.  Mine is the beach.  I love the feeling of sand between my toes, sunshine, salty sea air and the sound of birds and crashing waves.  

Go for an easy bike ride, hike or trail walk.  Don’t forget to see the sights and capture the views along the way.  

Take a stroll downtown or uptown.  Visit a museum, antique or vintage shop.  Check out a hobby shop or a book store.  

Read a good book. Watch a movie.  Go to a concert.  I know many cities and towns have concerts in the park during the warm months.  These are great places to take the family to relax, take a picnic and just take in the live music.

Whatever you choose to do on your rest day, make it count.  Help your body and mind to renew, reset and recharge.  You deserve it.  

HOW TO KEEP GOING WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH

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Throughout my life, I have been knocked down more times that I care to mention.  So I know from experience that the most important thing you can do when you fall, or fail, or someone knocks you down, is to get up, brush yourself off get right back on track and move forward gracefully.

But it is so important to make sure you think rationally and plan or revise your plan if necessary.  Don’t act in haste.  This could lead to injury, illness or an even worse situation.  

When the going gets tough, and unfortunately in life, it is not always smooth sailing.  Here are some ways to calm your mind amid the chaos right away.

15 MINUTES JUST FOR YOU (*from the Social Entrepreneur Empowerment Network).

[Find a quiet place for 15 minutes and use this exercise to recenter yourself.

5 minutes of physical activity

Even though you may already have your blood pumping from whatever or whoever it is that tried to knock you down, try to get outside for some running or fast walking around the block.  It will give you a break from the immediate chaos. Separation from the action will help your mind let go of the immediacy of issues. The release of endorphins will lift your mood and begin to break the stress.

4 minutes of gratitude

Now that your body is a little looser, you can start to clear your thoughts. The easiest way to slow down the pace is to remember why you are doing all of this to begin with. Use these minutes to contemplate how grateful you are for the people in your life who support you and add value to your life. Be thankful for good health, good opportunities, and the wonders of the world you live in. You can take a broad approach and make a list, or pick one person and write a note. Send it tomorrow; no need for another task right now.

3 minutes of meditation

Now that you are in a more positive state of body and mind, you can go to work on getting your mind to clear. Meditation is a very effective way of clearing out all the distractions. It can be difficult to quiet your mind but try to find a comfortable quiet place and just sit or lie down and relax and listen to your breath.  A few different approaches  are prayer to quiet outside noise and create an inward focus.  Others cross their legs and hum.  I personally prefer to lie flat in a comfortable position and just breathe.  You can find examples and video guides on YouTube. Either way, make sure it has specific structure that guides you through the process so you have one less thing to think about.

2 minutes of silence

With your mind clear, the last thing you need now is to walk back into the distracting frenzy. Find a quiet place you can sit and desensitize. Wherever you may be, dim the lights, turn off your computer and electronics, put on some noise canceling headphones (or turn on a fan for while noise, and block out all stimuli. Be alone with yourself and focus on being calm. Silence your phone so it won’t disturb you and set the timer for two minutes.  If it’s in vibrate mode in your pocket, it will gently let you know when the two minutes of quiet are over. By now, you should be calm, cool, and clear.

1 minute of deep breathing

After the 2 minutes of silence, set one more minute on the clock. For the next 60 seconds, focus on slow breathing as you bring yourself back to awareness. I find that just breathing deeply will slow everything down. For the rest of the day, if you find things edging out of control, you can simply go to a quiet space and repeat this one-minute breathing exercise, which should settle things down again.

You can repeat this 15 minute ritual as many times as necessary and when you are going through extremely stressful times I recommend it daily.  

Give yourself time before you devise a plan for moving on with your life.]

STICK TO YOUR ROUTINE AND SCHEDULE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE

If at all possible carry on your daily routine.  Be sure to get plenty of sleep, eat right and exercise.  Don’t allow yourself to break down completely.  Try to prepare your meals joyfully.  Enjoy the experience by listening to your favorite music.  Create joyful moments in your life to make up for all that is going wrong around you.  Don’t cancel plans unless you absolutely have to.  If you have had plans to go out of town for a family reunion, business trip, whatever, do it.  Don’t cancel.  You need to keep your focus on positive growth, being around positive people, and being constructive.  

CONFIDE IN A TRUSTED FRIEND OR RELATIVE

For me this is easy, I have sisters who I can call on for support when I need them.  I know that they will be there for support and encouragement.  Not in a nasty, spiteful, revenge sort of way but rather in a soothing, calming “I’m here for you” way.  They help me center and help me find the strength I need to stay calm, plan and ultimately move ahead (we’re talking about the big stuff here, not just daily routines).  

THINK, PROCESS, PLAN AND MOVE ON!

Like I said think about the possibilities, make a plan write it down and act on it (take the first step and all the ones that come after).  Life goes on and so will you.  Success is falling down 9 times and getting up 10! (Jon Bon Jovi).  I think this makes 10 for me.

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Why You Should Choose to Live Fearlessly!

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Why You Should Choose to Live Fearlessly – How to Overcome Fears and Do Anything!

I have a very simple plan for this.  And you can use it for overcoming your fear of anything and everything!  It all goes back to Decide. Commit. Succeed.  Like I said, carefully think out and visualize what you want to do, map it out and commit to it and then do it!

Stop living in fear of doing what you want and need to do in order to succeed!  I have found that by facing fears head on I can overcome my fears.  I have zip lined through the Yucatan Jungle (and also rappelled down into a natural crater and hiked to an underground lake).  I have jumped off of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas.  When I thought about these things I was so afraid, but I also visualized myself doing them and feeling energized and I visualized myself when I got to the bottom of that jump that crater, the end of that zipline, when I jumped into that cool refreshing lake!  I felt how it would feel to overcome and accomplish what I had feared.  I let that feeling of success creep into my mind, my body and my soul and fill me with courage.  But I can’t stop here.  Now I aim for even SCARIER adventures.  Skydiving anyone?

Think about this:  You can do anything you put your mind to as long as it is backed by action.  Your career, your fitness, your relationships, your LIFE!  But it is a process.  Like a baby learning to roll, crawl, walk and then run.

The Progression.  

Fitness:  If you want to change your body you have to start somewhere.  But you have to START.  Start a program.  Start with what you can do.  You will get better and you will get stronger and so you must progress to bigger, better, tougher workouts.  You’ll see, it gets easier and you get stronger.

Diet (or I prefer Healthy Nutrition):  This is a toughie.  You have got to change your eating (and drinking habits)!  Educate yourself.  Get the facts.  Learn from trusted sources who have been there and done that and implement the changes into your life.  Start making healthy choices today.  And KEY:  Plan your shopping list, plan your meals so you don’t slip back into your old ways.

Relationships:  Choose to have healthier relationships.  Avoid drama and negativity and the people who offer it up!  You must surround yourself by positive people.  Surround yourself and spend time with people who are examples of how you want to be.

Work/Career:  Just because you have the dream job/career or business doesn’t mean you should stop studying.  Never stop learning.  Never stop growing.  Read everything you can get your hands on (from successful people in their fields) and try applying their methods to your business.  Keep what works and let go of what doesn’t.  Stay challenged.  Take on new exciting opportunities.  Ask for new projects to tackle.  It will keep you on your toes and keep you thinking.

Be fearless in your endeavors.  If the project seems too big to tackle, you can at least try.  But remember to decide and commit so that your “try” is wholehearted and you have the best chance at success.  You should be challenged.

If you do nothing.  You gain nothing.  No action means no growth and most likely no success.

I’ve been in the position of not challenging myself and not growing and it is boring and sad.   I’ve decided I will never go back to that position again.  So I challenge myself physically, mentally and spiritually pretty much every day now.  I don’t let fear get in the way.  If fear starts to creep in, I get support, I read for inspiration.  Not just quotes, I read ideas and actions from people who are succeeding at what they do.  

This year I embarked on a new journey with my health, fitness and career.  And I am constantly working on new projects in order to grow and expand my business.  It is a challenge, but I do it because, for me, success is the only option.  

I have been pushed beyond my comfort zone so many times just in the past 5 months.  But boy have I grown.  You would be amazed at what is just around the corner from your biggest fear.   Facing fear and conquering it is the only way to get to your destination of success.  It is life changing.  Face your fears.  Decided to Live Fearlessly!   

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Happy Belly Quinoa Bowl

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Here is my healthy, gluten free recipe for this delicious bowl.  It’s versatile, you can have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 🙂

 

1 tbsp. Olive oil or Coconut oil
1 cup precooked quinoa
1/2 cup black beans
4 egg whites
2 tablespoons chopped onion 
1/4 cup chopped tri color sweet peppers
1/4 cup chopped fresh tomato
1/4 cup fresh avocado
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
(optional: 1 lean chicken breast, 2 oz. sliced lean beef or tofu)

Sauce: 1 to 2 tbsp. nonfat Greek Style yogurt
             1/2 tsp. lemon juice
             couple dashes of your favorite hot sauce (I like Tapatio or El Pato)
             Mix well.

Prep:

In a saucepan heat oil, add onion and peppers and heat until onions are soft and opaque.  Add black beans and egg whites scramble until just firm.  Add quinoa and heat through.   Remove from the heat.  Place in your bowl and top with remaining ingredients.