Eat your broccoli

Hi guys,
You parents knew what was up! Remember them telling you to eat your broccoli? 

Well they were right, once again!

  
These guys are a powerhouse of nutrients, they benefit digestion, cardiovascular system and immune system and also have anti inflammatory properties and may prevent certain cancers!

They are also low in sodium, fat free and low calories!

Nutritional profile:

– high in fiber, vitamin C, B6, A and potassium 

– packed with photochemicals (immune system protector) and antioxidants (cell protectors and cancer preventers)

– also contains magnesium, phosphorus,zinc and iron

  
Health benefits:

– cancer prevention 

– cholesterol reduction

– detoxification 

– heart health

– eye health

– digestion

– anti-inflammatory 
Facts:

– originated in Italy in around the sixth century BC

– name comes from broccolo, Italian for the flower on top of the cabbage, the word is derived from Latin brachium meaning branch or arm

– came to France in 1560 and was called Italian asparagus

– Thomas Jefferson loved it and imported it!

– George W bush was not a fan and Barack Obama confessed to loving it

– California produces 90 % of the broccoli grown in the United States 

– the average American only eats 4 lbs a year
Ciao for now, go eat broccolo

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fast and easy homemade turkey burgers 

hi guys,

Homemade is always better then anything processed and available at the store!

You are not the cooking type? You don’t have time?
No problem here is how it’s done!

1/ buy ground turkey (organic is always a better choice 40 oz makes about 10 burgers) fresh cilantro( smallest amount) 2 eggs and blue cheese crumbles (or feta if you do not like blue)

2/ dice up the cilantro and open the turkey

3/  separate the white from the eggs

4/ mix all the ingredients together with the egg whites

5/ make burgers with your hands the size you like 

  

6/ cook in a pan with coconut oil at medium heat for about 10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked 

  
7/ freeze the rest if needed

8/ enjoy! 

  
Ciao for now!

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What you REALLY need to know about labels!

Hi guys,

“all natural”, “whole grains”, “fat free” and more are labels that we see every day at the grocery stores but what does it really mean?

Be aware of what the manufacturers put on their box and read the labels before you buy, you will be surprised! They want to get your attention and get you to buy their products under very poorly regulated guidelines, here is what you really need to know!

“Natural”


The word “natural” is not regulated by the FDA and is very misleading. “natural” brings to mind thoughts of fresh, minimally processed and healthy foods, but it means nothing about a food’s nutritional content, ingredients, or health effects. Almost all packaged foods are processed in some way.

Natural potato chips will use real potatoes (instead of flakes) but like regular potato chips, they are still a high-fat food choice with little nutritional content.

Natural candy may be sweetened using cane juice (instead of white sugar), but it can still contribute  to weight gain when eaten in excess.

“Made with Real Fruit” and “Contains Real Fruit Juice”


You see “made with real fruits” on fruit snacks, cereals, and fruit drinks. There is no law that requires how much real fruit has to be in a food that uses this claim, the sugary treat could contain just one blueberry or one drop of fruit juice to be accurate.

When high fructose corn syrup and/or sugar are listed as the first ingredients, you know that the “real fruit” content of the product isn’t significant. This is sugary junk food that is trying to masquerade as healthy fruit drinks.

“Whole Grains”

This is one of the most popular marketing claims and definitely the most confusing. Today we see “whole grain” logos on almost all  products, including most sugary cereals.

In reality, refined and highly bleached white flour with a touch of whole wheat added in can be listed as “whole grain.”

Food manufacturers can by law use the term “whole grain” no matter how much whole wheat the product contains.

  • “Made with Whole Grains”: All it needs is one tiny bit of whole grains to use this claim, which means nothing for your health benefits.
  • “Wheat flour” or “100 percent wheat”: Again, this is a ploy that tries to fool consumers. You want to look for “whole wheat flour” not just the word “wheat.”
  • “Multigrain”: This doesn’t explain if the grains are refined or whole, just that there is more than one type of grain. Multigrain has no proven health benefits, especially if all those grains are refined, and they probably are.
  • “Whole grain”: This term is also misleading, because whole grains can contain various blends of grains that are refined. You want to avoid words like enriched and bleached on the ingredients label, only trust the term “100 percent whole grain” to be the healthier choice.

When it comes to grain-based foods, you can’t trust the words on the front of the package.

Look at the ingredients list every time, looking for keywords like “whole wheat flour” to be FIRST on the list.

Additives like sugar and CORN SYRUP shouldn’t appear in the top of the ingredients list of a so called healthy food.

Be aware that manufacturers won’t necessarily call their processed flours “refined” on the label. Anything that is listed as corn, rice, wheat, or oat flour IS processed and refined unless it specifically tells you that it is “whole”.

“Fat Free”


“Fat free” food labels may also make you  believe these are healthy selections. Sometimes this can be helpful  especially when choosing skim milk over higher fat varieties. But read the labels, when a meat label announces 90% fat free, it sounds like a healthy choice since only 5 percent of it is fat. But fat contains a lot of calories, so check out the nutrition facts label for the actual number of calories and fat grams per serving, especially if you are trying to lose weight!

“Zero Trans Fats”


Thanks to recent media attention, you surely know that trans fat are really bad for you!

Experts recommend that we avoid trans fats, which are created when oils are hydrogenated (combined with hydrogen) during food processing. But you can’t trust a product’s claim of zero trans fats, nor can you trust the nutrition facts label on this one.

If the words “partially hydrogenated” appear in it at all, then the food DOES contain trans fats. But thanks to labeling guidelines, any food that contains 0.5 grams or less of a nutrient can be listed as zero grams on the nutrition facts label…Just stay away!

I hope this helps you navigate your supermarket aisles better and gives you an idea of what the manufacturers are trying to accomplish by flashing these purely false labels in front of you!

Have a great day!

Ciao for now

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Healthy chicken recipe for the whole family!

Hi guys,

Here is my version of fried chicken:

You will need:

4- 6 chicken cutlets sliced thin

Organic coconut oil

organic coconut flour (it’s time you ditch the old bleached flour you know!)

2 tbsp of liquid egg whites

1 scoop of whey protein (you may do without if you want)

photo 2

Pour one tbsp of coconut oil in a pan and let it get hot

In the meantime, dip one chicken cutlet in the egg whites, both sides.

Now batter the cutlet in the mix of coconut flour and whey protein both sides.

Once the oil is hot, fry the chicken about 2-3 minutes both sides lowering to a medium to low heat so that it won’t get burnt.

Remove the chicken and place into a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.

Pour more coconut oil in the pan and start the same process with chicken cutlet number 2.

photo

Super easy for you and the whole family will love them!

photo 1

Enjoy!

Ciao for now!

Carbs or fats for fuel?

Hi guys,

Let’s talk about carbohydrates and healthy fats, their role in our daily life and how our bodies use them on a daily basis.

I have always been a big fan of fueling my body with carbs (only the good ones of course, nothing processed and high in sugar) and starting the recovery process of post exercise with proteins, I admit it.

I am a fitness instructor so I workout about 2 to 3 hours a day 6 days a week for work and about 1 hour of personal workouts 3-5 days a week.

Exercise, performance, recovery, fuel, energy is a big part of my life and I always want to educate myself on how our bodies work and process the foods that we eat on a regular basis.

I consider myself a very healthy and body conscious individual but  about a year ago, I started feeling like crap-…meaning super bloated with a lot of digestion issues, foggy, very forgetful and tired.

I have been on a super healthy diet for years and years now so I knew it wasn’t because of my food or was it??

I thought I would go gluten free, I have to go gluten free just because gluten is not good for you and after reading on it, my symptoms kind of matched.

I felt like a million bucks the very first day I stopped eating gluten and then within 2 weeks my symptoms came back but on a more manageable note.

But then over time I realized that this was obviously not the issue so I thought hmmmm it must be the fats as I thought that my symptoms were worse after I ate fats.

I also by that time scheduled an appointment to see a gerontologist to figure things out and after several good results tests, he thought it was my gallbladder wrecking havoc on my body (especially with the facts of not digesting fats correctly).

Then I thought to myself, I only the healthiest of fats (olive oil, coconut oil, avocados) when I do eat fats and I very very very rarely eat fried stuff or unhealthy fats so could something else be the cause of my discomfort?

Than I finally realized that my symptoms were the worst after fruit intakes…wait a minute, fruit is so good for you, it can’t be it!

I stopped looking at fruits life yummy healthy treats and snacks and started looking at the fact that they were part of the carbs family and after some research, I found that one can become carb intolerant just like one can become gluten intolerant.

Can this be the key to my issues????? Eating too much oatmeal, brown rice, fruits etc is actually making me sick?

I have been so obsessed with counting calories and thinking that fats are bad for you that I admit I might not eat enough fats and it might be hurting me!

I will let you know soon as I removed all carbs from my diet yesterday and I will keep it this way for the next 2 weeks (yikes)

Read these super interesting articles:

Carbs evil or essential?

Condition your body to burn fat

I am now conditioning my body to burn more fat so I am eating more fats to burn more fats…This is so new to me, I am a little scared but very excited!

Stay tuned for progress updates.

Ciao for now!

Love handles be gone!

Hi guys,

Love handles sound warm and delicious and feel like it at time but it is the hardest place to lose the weight for most people!

Love handles are deposits of excess body fat that sit around your abdominal area.

Most of us can pinch our belly fat from the front, back and sides. And it’s not just about fitting into that dress or your favourite pair of jeans — excessive fat can also hurt your health!

But physically losing those love handles won’t actually get rid of any fat if you are not eating the right foods.

Strengthening these areas with some exercises and burning fats starts with the food on your plate everyday!

Avoid sugars, salts and unhealthy fats, and add fresh fruits, vegetables, good fats (like raw seeds or avocado) and lean clean proteins to your diet instead.

Here are some great exercises to get rid of the love we all hate!

Bicycle Crunches 30 reps!
Laying flat on your back with your hands by your ears, elevate your legs to a 90-degree angle.

Next, bring your left knee towards your chest and twist your right elbow to meet it. Repeat this on the other side. Also, as you bring one leg in, stretch the other one straight out.

Russian Twist 50 reps
Begin in a seated position with bended knees and flat feet. Lean back slightly with a strong straight back and get into a comfortable position, contracting your ab muscles. Stretch your arms out in front of you and twist the torso from side to side. For more intensity, tap the floor to the right of your hip and then the left side.

Side Plank Hip Dips 20 each side
Another variation of the plank exercise, start in a side plank position with your elbows touching the ground. Drop your hips to touch the floor as you inhale and exhale while bringing them back up.

Side Plank hold 30 sec each side
Using one arm, either your forearm or your hand, line it up beneath your armpit and stack your feet on top of one another. Ideally, you want to create a “T” shape with your body.

Elevated Plank hold 2 minutes
In a low or high plank, use an elevated surface like a bench, step or ball, and hold this position

High Plank From The Hands 2 minutes
Get your body into a push-up position but hold it up. Place your hands directly beneath your armpits and keep your legs straight, flat belly strong back!

Low Plank From Elbows 2 minutes
Place your elbows and forearms on the floor beneath your armpits and lift your body off the floor with your legs straight.

Ciao for now!

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Not losing weight???

Hi guys,

Most of the time when you’re having trouble losing weight, it’s not because you aren’t making good food choices but because you are not eating enough calories.

When most people start living a healthy lifestyle to lose weight , they slash their calories and add a large amount of exercise to their routine.

That’s fine, but they usually cut their calories too low….Add in the extra exercise, and  you have an extreme calorie deficit that is working against you!

Not eating enough calories causes many drastic metabolic changes.

Your body is a smart machine and senses the  decrease in dietary energy. Your large calorie deficit might work for a few  weeks, but eventually your body will wake up and sound alarms that it needs to CONSERVE the available energy.

It doesn’t want to just waste away because it needs that energy (fat) to survive.

So, what does your body do when it senses prolonged energy restriction by not eating enough calories??

  • Slows down thyroid production: Your thyroid is responsible for fat, carbohydrate, and protein metabolism. Your body has the ability to slow down thyroid output in an effort to maintain energy balance.
  • Decreases muscle mass – Muscle is highly calorie intensive to maintain. In a prolonged calorie deficit, it is one of the first things that your body looks to get rid of. Your body needs the fat and wants the fat, and  muscle can and will be spared. It breaks down the muscle tissue and uses it for energy instead of using the fat! (exactly what you don’t want)
  • Lowers testosterone levels – An very important hormone for both men and women, testosterone is  one of many hormones that are affected with severe calorie restriction. Without it, it becomes very hard to maintain muscle tissue and  put on muscle mass.
  • Decreases leptin levels – Leptin is one of the energy regulating hormones. It is  a “hunger” hormone that tells you whether to eat or not. High leptin levels signal that it’s OK to stop eating, while low leptin levels signal to eat more energy. Because of this, leptin levels decrease in calorie restricted environments.
  • Decreases energy levels – There are many physical actions your body takes when you’re not eating enough calories, but there are also some mental ones. Neurotransmitter production becomes limited and it can lead to a lack of motivation. It’s your body’s way of telling you to “slow down” – conserve your energy.

Bottom line, you need to be mindful of your eating habits and get into the mind set of fueling your body for energy.

Not eating enough and exercising like an insane person is not the answer to a healthier you!

Eat with the purpose of fueling yourself in order to get a great workout in and lose all the weight that you want!

Find out here how many calories you need to eat per day!

Ciao for now!