A Little Taste Of Heaven

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I found these Belvita breakfast biscuits on my most recent trip to the grocery store. They are absolutely delicious. They come four to a package and I couldn’t resist having two biscuits before work with my morning coffee and the other two biscuits after my workout today. Although they are not on the top of my list for healthy snacks, (Tis the season for gingerbread), I’m happy to report they do not include high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils. I like to pair the biscuits with raw almonds and a banana to make this a healthier snack. They are heaven with hot, steaming coffee. If you are a coffee lover, consider trying the bulletproof coffee recipe above with the optional add-ins.

Yum Best Clean Eating Breakfast Bar Yet

Breakfast can be tough if you are short on time. I love to grab bars in the morning but it’s difficult to find any healthy options. These are delicious and a great bar to take with you on the run. Pair with greek yogurt or a couple of boiled eggs to add protein and have a healthier convenience meal on your way to work or at the gym.

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Larabar- Clean Eating- Just 5 Ingredients

 

Check this out! Ingredients you can read:

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Just 5 Ingredients: Dates, Almonds, Raisins, Apples, and Cinnamon

 

Compare this to other bars on the market that claim to be healthy:

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Look at all the unhealthy Ingredients: Canola oil, Palm Kernal Oil

And I love these Zone Bars, but check it out:

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Zone Perfect Nutrition Bar Peppermint Bark
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Look at the number of ingredients including Palm Kernal Oil and High Fructose Corn Syrup

Although I love the Peppermint Bark bars for the holidays, I’m going to stick with the Cinnamon Raisin Lara Bars. Definitely a healthier choice. Make sure to take time to check ingredients when shopping even if you are short on time 🙂

Set The Tone For The Week

“Your Monday morning thoughts set the tone for your whole week. See yourself getting stronger, and living a fulfilling, happier & healthier life.”
― Germany Kent

  1. Wake up- (EARLY) Meditate 10 minutes – express gratitude for life, loved ones, and your health.
  2.  Stretch- 10 minutes to get the blood flowing and work on flexibility
  3.  Hydrate with water first and then coffee
  4.  Eat a healthy breakfast- fruit, organic oatmeal, eggs, yogurt, nuts
  5.  Tell your loved ones you love them
  6.  Listen to positive affirmations on your way to work. Tell yourself it’s going to be a great day 🙂

What Does Your Morning Routine Generate?

“Your morning routine generates a 10x return for good or for bad. Make it good.”
― Todd Stocker 
Do you jump out of bed in the morning with plenty of time for a workout and healthy breakfast? Or do you hit the snooze button, skip breakfast, and have a major panic attack trying to get to work on time?
The secret to success lies in your daily routine. Consider trying an experiment in which you follow my guidelines for thirty days to help you establish a successful morning routine.

Is Self Care Your Priority?

“If you are not sleeping, eating, and exercising, then all of this will be for naught. These core self-care skills are fundamental to your life and functioning. We can not expect to grow and move forward as people if we do not get the basics right.”
― 7Cups, 7 Cups for the Searching Soul

 

No Coffee, No Dairy, No Meat – Day 10

 

Day 10 update on my Alkaline Diet Challenge. Although I haven’t been perfect in selecting all non-acidic foods, I’m pretty proud of myself. I’ve been able to cut out all meat, coffee, and processed foods. I’ve cheated a little when it comes to dairy; I’ve eaten cottage cheese due to the fact I had purchased a new container of it prior to starting the challenge.

I thought for sure that it would be rough coming off coffee but surprisingly it hasn’t been difficult. I haven’t had any headaches or crazy cravings for my morning brew. I’ve substituted hot tea with turmeric which is perfect for taking the place of my coffee.

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Results so far:

  1. Down 4 lbs
  2. Abs/Arms appear more defined
  3. Allergy symptoms gone: No more mild headaches/ eyes watering
  4. Cravings gone
  5. Energy increased
  6. Skin looks better

I’m very pleased with my results so far; I plan to definitely continue this for thirty days. After that, I plan to re-evaluate and decide if I want to continue with this new lifestyle.

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Too Acidic?

I’ve gradually cleaned up my diet over the past few years and also transitioned to more raw fruits and vegetables in my meals. However, I still suffer from mild headaches, sinus issues, and eye irritation. I recently stumbled across an article on the benefits of an alkaline diet and discovered I have many symptoms associated with being too acidic. That being said, I did some research and to my dismay, coffee is top on the list to cut out. I love coffee and look forward to it every morning to jump-start my day. Needless to say, cutting out my java is going to be a major challenge. Next on the list was chocolate. I love having a piece of dark cholate after dinner; of course two of my favorite things would have to be on the list.

Check out this picture below that details acidic symptoms:

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“You will know if you are too acidic if you get sick often, get urinary tract infections, suffer from headaches, and have bad breath and body odor (when you do not use antiperspirant). Acidosis is the medical term for a blood alkalinity of less than 7.35. A normal reading is called homeostasis. It is not considered a disease; although in and of itself it is recognized as an indicator of disease. Your blood feeds your organs and tissues; so if your blood is acidic, your organs will suffer and your body will have to compensate for this imbalance somehow. We need to do all we can to keep our blood alkalinity high. The way to do this is to dramatically increase our intake of alkaline-rich elements like fresh, clean air; fresh, clean water; raw vegetables (particularly their juices); and sunlight, while drastically reducing our intake of and exposure to acid-forming substances: pollution, cigarettes, hard alcohol, white flour, white sugar, red meat, and coffee. By tipping the scales in the direction of alkalinity through alkaline diet and removal of acid waste through cleansing, and acidic body can become an alkaline one.― Natalia Rose

A measure of acidity and alkalinity of a solution that is a number on a scale on which a value of 7 represents neutrality and lower numbers indicate increasing acidity and higher numbers increasing alkalinity.
Going on a more alkaline diet means I will need to also cut out meat and dairy. Although I’ve reduced my meat consumption, I love yogurt and cottage cheese. Therefore, it’s going to be a challenge to find optional protein sources. This picture shows some examples of acidic and alkaline foods.
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I’ve decided to experiment with an alkaline diet for the month of August. I’ll keep you updated on my meals and results.

Don’t Let The Weekend Destroy Your Progress

 

I love Fridays! It’s the end of the week and I like to start the weekend off right with a great workout. If you are like most of us, the weekend means relaxing and splurging on some “not so healthy food choices.” But there’s nothing wrong with that; life is all about balance. So how do you adjust your goals on the weekend so that you don’t destroy all the grueling work you put in during the week?

I don’t know about you, but I love to eat and enjoy working out; it makes me feel good about myself. Sure it would be a lot easier on the weekends to lay on the couch and eat junk food. But what about all your killer workouts, planning your meals,  and eating healthy all week? Surely you don’t want to destroy that progress over the weekend.

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To keep on track with my goals, I know realistically that I’m going to be splurging a little on the weekend.  Therefore it makes sense for me to offset the extra calories with extra activity.

Tip # 1: Increase your activity level. I typically get up early on the weekends and try to do at least a couple of miles on the treadmill.  If I don’t have time for that, I simply do a “high-intensity interval training workout” such as this from:  Muscle and Fitness

–> Perform circuit two times.
–> Rest as little as possible.

30 Bodyweight squats
10 Elevated pushups (feet on a bench)
30 Lunges (total, not per side)
10 Inverted rows (lying on the ground underneath a fixed bar)
30 Side-to-side hops (total)
10 Inverted rows
30 Close-grip pushups (either on knees or standard)
10 Underhand inverted rows
30 Jumping jacks
10 Burpees
30 Diagonal lunges (total, not per side)

Either rest for 1-2 minutes or jog in place for 1-2 minutes (repeat)

These type of workouts are super effective and burns loads of calories.  Dr Josh Axe reports that High Intensity Training

Research from the past decade continues to report that high intensity interval training actually balances both leptin and ghrelin, which increases fat burn and weight loss. In fact, burst training is one of the best ways to best manage unhealthy hunger behavior and maximize ghrelin and leptin to lose weight.

I also try to make sure I use my activity tracker on the weekends to help motivate me to get my steps in (either by moving more throughout the day or from my workouts).

 

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Photo by Tobias Bjørkli on Pexels.com

 

Read my article below for the benefits of  tracking your steps on a daily basis:

Do You Need An Activity Tracker?

Tip #2: Drink more water.  Stay hydrated on the weekend. This simple tip will curb your appetite, help prevent dehydration, and give you energy.

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Photo by The Lazy Artist Gallery on Pexels.com

Just check out the benefits for drinking water- especially number 7:   Healthline.com reports in   7 Science-Based Health Benefits of Drinking Enough Water

In two studies, drinking half a liter (17 ounces) of water was shown to increase metabolism by 24-30% for up to 1.5 hours (2627).

This means that drinking 2 liters of water every day can increase your total energy expenditure by up to 96 calories per day.

The timing is important too, and drinking water half an hour before meals is the most effective. It can make you feel more full, so that you eat fewer calories (2829).

In one study, dieters who drank half a liter of water before meals lost 44% more weight, over a period of 12 weeks (30).

It’s easy to keep on track with your water intake by just following these rules:

Drink water:  Upon arising, with morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and with the evening meal. This schedule will keep you hydrated and help prevent overeating.

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So when the weekend rolls around, enjoy yourself. But stay on track by scheduling your water breaks and increasing your activity. Take a walk at lunch, park further away from the office, or take the stairs. It all adds up.

If you don’t have time to fit in a workout, try to break the workouts into ten-minute segments. Ten minutes in the morning upon arising and then another mini-workout on your lunch hour or after work. It’s all about priorities and staying on track with your goals.

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Enjoy your weekend!

 

Super Coffee Creamer

I love coffee and believe it or not, it’s actually a great incentive for me to hop out of bed early most mornings to get things done.  Also, if you’re like me and you drink a lot of coffee, you may want to read my article,  Is Your Coffee A Healthy Brew?

Therefore, needless to say, I’m always on the lookout for new brands and flavors of coffee and creamers. I recently found this coffee creamer in our local grocery store.

 

 

It contains MCT oil and monk fruit for a super boost of creamy flavor to your morning coffee. Per Healthline.com

Monk fruit, or lo han guo, is a small green melon native to southern China and named after the monks who first cultivated it centuries ago. The health benefits of the fruit have been well-known in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for decades, but its sweet little secret is finally making it into the wellness mainstream. It’s a sweetener that has zero calories and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Per Medical News Today

Medium-chain triglycerides are a type of fat that is found in certain oils and dairy products. MCT oil is a supplement made of these fats.

MCTs have many potential health benefits, and taking MCT oil supplements may also be beneficial.

While MCTs may not lead to dramatic weight loss, they may be able to play a role in overall weight management. They may also help boost energy and endurance, although more research is needed to prove this benefit.

A growing body of research also suggests that MCTs may improve a person’s ability to think and fight the effects of conditions such as Alzheimer’s.

I never add sweetener to my coffee and most creamers have unhealthy ingredients.  This creamer is a big hit with me, with natural ingredients that add a delicious, creamy- slightly sweet flavor. And best of all, I might be imagining this but I felt a boost of energy for my workout.

 

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Killer TRX Cardio Core Workout

I’ve been teaching a TRX six-week challenge class the past six weeks and incorporated a focus on mindful eating, food choices, and a change of routine. I love TRX, AKA suspension training. TRX is a great way to build core strength, burn fat, and increase strength and mobility.

Suspension training can be done with a convenient strap system that’s inexpensive and easy to transport to any workout space.

TRX was developed by a Navy SEAL, Randy Hetrick to train during deployment. It is a portable workout system that combines your bodyweight with gravity. The intensity of all exercises can be made more difficult by adjusting the angle of the body.

This six-week challenge has really helped me to break through a plateau and increase lean muscle. Additionally, my challenge group has managed to successfully improve their nutrition, lose inches, and reduce body fat. This is one of the best workouts for the core and to help define the abs.

Try my killer TRX workout below for some of my favorite suspension training exercises incorporated into a circuit (repeat 3x) Let me know how you like! Don’t forget to add a warm-up and cool down.

  1. TRX Squat With High Row (10 Reps)

2. Jump back Push Ups (10 Reps)

3. Trx Pike Crunch (10 Reps)

4. Burpee Mountain Climber (10 Reps)

5. TRX Hamstring Runner (10 Reps)

6. Up-Down Plank (10 Reps)