BCAA’s (Branched Chain Amino Acids) are three of the nine essential amino acids including leucine, isoleucine and valine. The essential amino acids can’t be made by the body and therefore must be acquired through the diet. Research studies report that BCAA’s help to promote muscle growth, aids in recovery and reduces muscle soreness.
BCAAs are found in a number of healthy protein-rich foods, including organic grass-fed beef, wild Alaskan salmon, pastured egg yolks, raw grass-fed cheese, quinoa, pumpkin seeds and nuts. One of the best sources, however, is whey protein concentrate, which has one of the highest concentrations of leucine.
The typical requirement for leucine is 1 to 3 grams daily. However, to optimize its anabolic pathway for muscle growth and repair, you need as much as 8 to 16 grams of leucine daily. One 3-ounce serving of whey protein has 8 grams of leucine (compared to just 1.6 grams in salmon or 1.4 grams in egg yolk).
This likely explains why whey protein concentrate has been found to stimulate muscle protein synthesis and has been called the ideal fitness food when consumed just before or after a workout.
Try to get your BCAAs from your daily diet by incorporating salmon, grass-fed cheese, pumpkin seeds, pastured eggs and nuts if possible.
However, consider using a whey protein concentrate if you are short on time or on the go. This can be a convenient way to add BCAAs to shakes, oatmeal, and yogurt for post workout snacks and meals.
Make sure when selecting your whey protein to look for a pure, high, quality product. Many protein powders can contain high levels of lead, arsenic and toxic ingredients. Check the product on the Clean Label Project website:
This will be my last workout I’ll be teaching for 2018. How can I make it different than all the other workouts this year? I love to combine body weight, cardio intervals, and weight training into all my classes. So hear we go:
Make sure to warm up for 7- 8 minutes. Complete circuit 3-4 times. Take water breaks as needed and finish with final stretch. ENJOY!
Bear Crawl Push-up (12 reps)
2. Wall Sit With Bicep Curl (12 reps)
3. Alternating DB Reverse Lunge With Burpee (12 reps)
4. Burpee Wood Chop Tricep Extension (12 reps)
5. DB Clean And Press Row Combo (12 reps)
6. Standing DB Alternating Knee Crunches (12 reps)
Great podcast that explains the root of our healthcare issues; treating symptoms and side effects with drugs rather than treating the cause of the illness. Regardless of whether you are spiritual or religious, this is well worth your time. Less than 30 minutes.
How many of us wake up everyday and truly understand what a blessing it is to be healthy. I’m sure you know of a loved one, friend, or acquaintance that may not be so lucky. Think of the many people who suffer from diseases such as cancer, autoimmune disorders, or are disabled in some way. The truth is we take our health for granted; but if we walked in the shoes of those less fortunate for one day, or even an hour our mindset would most likely change.
Make your health a priority by making healthy food choices, exercising, and reducing stress in your life.
The key is to develop discipline by understanding the benefit of healthy choices versus the downside of processed food and inactivity. Our daily choices when it comes to nutrition and exercise significantly affect how we feel. We’ve all given in to cravings and had days where we splurged on fast food and maybe too much sugar or alcohol. The key is to remembering how you felt afterwards or the next day. It’s likely you paid for it with an upset stomach, headache, and a major lack of energy.
Is it really worth it? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about being so rigid that you never eat a piece of cake or enjoy a glass of wine. But the key is moderation!
Learn to practice gratitude on a daily basis. Wake up each morning and give thanks for your health, your loved ones, and having food and shelter. There are those in this world that are so much less fortunate. YOUR HEALTH IS WEALTH! Learn to make it a priority.
Practice taking care of yourself by making healthy food choices and staying active. Consider keeping a journal and writing down what you are thankful for each day. Take an hour each day to reduce stress with meditation, yoga, reading, or simply some quiet time to reflect on your blessings.
Have you noticed there are many people who seem to work out all the time but their bodies never change. In order to get results from your workouts; you need a specific plan of action. How many calories should you eat? How many times should you do cardio? Should you lift heavy or light, high rep or low rep? It’s a lot to think about and can be confusing. However follow these tips to help increase your lean muscle and reduce body fat.
You can’t get lean with a bad diet– You know the quote, “what you eat in private, you wear in public” is true. Your body composition is majorly affected by your food choices. Processed foods/ junk foods lead to increased body fat. If you want to get lean you need to eat good quality protein, fresh vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats.
You don’t have enough protein in your diet. Protein is the building block of muscles. Good sources of protein include grass-fed beef, chicken, fish, beans/legumes, quinoa, greek yogurt, nuts and eggs. WebMD states adults in the U.S. are encouraged to get 10% to 35% of their day’s calories from protein foods. That’s about 46 grams of protein for women, and 56 grams of protein for men.It’s not hard to get this amount if you eat two to three servings of protein-rich foods a day, according to the CDC.
A small 3-ounce piece of meat has about 21 grams of protein. A typical 8-ounce piece of meat could have over 50 grams of protein.
One 8-ounce container of yogurt has about 11 grams of protein.
One cup of milk has 8 grams of protein.
One cup of dry beans has about 16 grams of protein.
You need to have a well balanced plan– In order to get lean, you need to lift weights to build muscle. Make sure you are working all the major muscle groups. You need to lift heavy enough weights to fatigue the muscle and advance to heavier weights when you no longer feel the challenge in your current routine. You should also do some sort of cardiovascular exercise to strengthen the heart and burn fat. High intensity interval training is a great way to burn fat in a short period of time.
Make sure you give yourself a recovery day. Your muscles actually break down when you work out and recovery allows them to rebuild, repair and get stronger. Always allow a rest day to help build muscle and to ensure you are well rested for your next workout.
Find ways to reduce stress– Stress can cause an increase in cortisol. chronic stress can lead to higher and more prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream (like those associated withchronic stress) have been shown to have negative effects, such as:
Impaired cognitive performance
Suppressed thyroid function
Blood sugar imbalances such as hyperglycemia
Decreased bone density
Decrease in muscle tissue
Try yoga and meditation to reduce stress. Allow some time each day to relax and unwind. FInd what works for you such as a quiet walk outside to appreciate nature or just some alone time to listen to your favorite tunes.
“You can make excuses or you can achieve your goals, but you can’t do both.”
― Andrea Gogelein
Ok I must confess, I’m on winter break and I have not been very strict with my eating or exercise routine. I mean when you’re on vacation, it’s definitely a challenge to resist the temptation of going out to eat every week.
Also, as a fitness instructor, I normally teach 8 to 10 classes per week but since I’m on vacation my activity level has dramatically dropped.
To top that off, I bought a new pair of running shoes and after a short run on the treadmill last week, I woke up with a stiff and swollen knee. I’ve never had knee problems so this is something new for me. My new shoes felt very stiff and seemed to change my gait during the run.; I should have listened to the same advice I give my clients and stopped my run right away. My new shoes were trail runners, perhaps that was a factor. Nevertheless, now I’ll have to lay off my runs for a week or more until I recover.
But wait there’s more.…. I just found out that they have closed our gym at the resort for renovations. Therefore, I won’t have a place to workout for over three weeks. I think I’m being tested 😦
I decided to look at the bright side and so far I’ve had a pretty good week. I’m actually pretty proud of myself for easing off my usual routine and enjoying some different restaurants we don’t get a chance to try at home. Now don’t get me wrong, even though it’s nice to take a break from exercise and clean eating; my body begins to feel sluggish and lethargic until I get back on track .
I came to the conclusion that even though my workouts and food choices won’t be perfect while on winter break, I’m determined to not go overboard. Therefore, although the gym is closed and I’m still resting my knee, I took a long walk on the beach this morning. The weather and the view was awesome!!
Since I don’t have access to the gym, I decided to exercise at the condo with dumbbells and worked up a really good sweat!!
Break Your Weight Loss Plateau With Four Easy Tips
“You cannot expect to achieve new goals or move beyond your present circumstances unless you change.” ~Les Brown
Have you reached a weight loss plateau? Many people lose weight easily in the beginning of a weight loss program. However, after a period of time, it may become very challenging to lose those last five to ten pounds. Sometimes just a change in your routine is all that is needed to boost your metabolism. Try these four easy tips to break through your weight loss plateau and lose those last stubborn pounds for good.
1. Change your workout– Changing your workout routine may be just what you need to boost your metabolism and get you back on track with your weight loss goals. Do you normally run five days a week? Try adding a spin class to your routine or the elliptical. If you weight train five days a week, add cardio to your routine to try something new. Consider trying a dance class, yoga, or a boot camp workout. All that is required is a different activity to shake things up.
2. Increase the challenge– Our bodies become very efficient in what we do on a regular basis. But adding the element of intensity to your workouts will burn more calories and optimize your metabolism. Add intervals to your cardio workouts by increasing the incline on your treadmill workouts or running hills outside. Another way to increase the challenge of your workouts is to add more weight to your weight training exercises. If you normally lift light weights and higher repetitions, try changing to fewer reps and increase your weights.
3. Reduce your carbohydrate intake after lunch– Try reducing your carbohydrates after your noon meal. This will help reduce calories and help to jump start your metabolism. Eat a lean protein, green vegetables and a healthy fat for your evening meal and snack. A good dinner option would be grilled chicken, spinach salad and a serving of green beans. Try almonds, Greek yogurt and boiled eggs for low carbohydrate snack choices.
4. Add another workout– If you are working out five days a week but still not losing weight, try adding another workout to your weekly routine. This will increase the calories you are burning and can create just the caloric deficit you need to lose weight. If you are already working out five to six days a week, then simply increase your workout time by fifteen to twenty minutes. Try this for the next four weeks. It may be just what you need to reach your final weight loss goal.