How to eat healthy on a budget!

Hi guys,

I bet you wondered many times how you could eat a little healthier without spending too much money?

Well here is 10 basic easy steps for you to follow to start eating healthier today!

  1. Spend time and plan your week with recipes. Choose recipes that call for the same ingredients to reduce waste.
  2. Have a shopping list when hitting the store in order to reduce impulse buying. Use your phone apps like Food.com to help you stay organized, find recipes and make shopping lists.
  3. Use coupons and buy on sale items, meats and fish especially!
  4. Buy in bulk which is always cheaper. Store or freeze the rest.
  5. Avoid convenience items like frozen dinners, crackers and all things processed. Buy the ingredients and make it yourself.
  6. Choose store brands in order to reduce costs.
  7. Buy seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables.
  8. Buy frozen not in season fruits and vegetables.
  9. Spend one day cooking for the week so you are ready for busy nights!
  10. Do not shop when you are hungry, EVER! That’s how all the cookies end up in your cart!

Happy healthier eating!

Ciao for now!

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Got 25 minutes?

Hi guys,

I get it, you are busy!

So just do this workout twice a week and start losing weight today (with a great nutrition plan of course!) so you are ready for the holidays.

Give everything you have while you are workout those 20 seconds…You should be cursing like a sailor praying that the 20 seconds ends quickly!

Have fun and say goodbye to your fat!

cardio intervals

Have fun and stay in touch via facebook and twitter

Ciao for now!

Get in shape for the holidays!

Hi guys,

The holidays are right around the corner so let’s get in shape so you can look your best!

Do this workout three times a week!

PART 1

High Intensity you will need a yoga mat and a timer set at 4 rounds of 20 seconds on and 10 sec off no rest.

hiit

Repeat each exercises twice and move on to the next one.

ROUND 1:

  • 3 low squats, drop to plank
  • Jump sideways over mat with both feet
  • Plie squats (feet out to 45 degrees to open up the thighs)
  • 2 jumping jacks/ 2 bent over jumping jacks

ROUND 2:

  • Burpees
  • Mountain climbers
  • high knees
  • run forward touch ground, turn around and run back touch ground

ROUND 3:

  • Inchworm with a push up
  • Push-ups (knees down are ok)
  • In and out jump squats touch ground with both hands
  • Alternating side lunges

ROUND 4:

  • High plank to lunge alternating legs
  • Reverse to forward lunges, second set other leg
  • 1/2 turn jump squats
  • Plank jacks

PART 2:

Burpees, plank jacks, cross body mountain climbers

Start at 2 of each than add two every round until you reach 10 of each than work your way backwards…

2,4,6,8,10,8,6,4,2

PART 3:

  • 10 plank up and down (elbows to hands, hands to elbows)
  • 40 Mountain climbers
  • 40 knees tucks
  • 40 tricep dips (2 times 20)
  • 18 split jump lunges
  • 10 Flutter kick with crunches
  • 10 V sits
  • 40 pulsating abs (lay flat then raise you shoulders engaging your abs and raise you feet…pulsate for 40 counts)
  • 10 single leg lifts with other leg off floor (keep you back straight on the mat)
  • 10 each side Side plank in and out crunches
  • 15 hip raises from side plank

photo 3 photo 4 photo 3 photo 2 photo 1

Have fun!

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!

Day 8 October challenge!

Hi guys,

Today is day 8 of our October challenge…how are you doing?

What do you do to make yourself accountable for working out and getting healthy?

After my challenge, I did my 2 abs routines, if you need a description of the exercises, comment and I will send them to you!

Here are some pics

See you tomorrow!

Ciao for now!

Your core is more than just a 6 pack!

Hi guys,

To build a strong core, you need more than just do ab crunches and sit ups.

You need to exercise a variety of muscles from your hips all the way to your shoulders. A lot of people tend to think of the core as six-pack or nice toned abs.

Actually the abdominal muscles are a very small part of the core and they have a limited and specific action

The “core” actually consists of many different muscles that stabilize the spine and the pelvis, and that run the entire length of the torso.

When these muscles contract, they stabilize the spine, pelvis and shoulder girdle and provide a strong base of support. .

The core muscles also help us stand upright and move on two feet.

These muscles help control movements and transfer energy, shift our body weight and move in any direction.

A strong core distributes the stresses of weight-bearing and protects the back.

What are the core muscles?

In general the muscles of the core run the length of the trunk and torso.

The following list includes some of the most commonly identified core muscles and the lesser known groups.

  • Rectus Abdominus:  Located along the front of the abdomen, this is the most well-known ab muscle and is often referred to as the “six-pack” due to it’s appearance in fit and thin individuals.
  • Erector spinae: Three muscles that run along your neck to your lower back.
  • Multifidus : Located under the erector spinae along the vertebral column, extends and rotates the spine.
  • External obliques:  Located on the side and front of the abdomen.
  • Internal obliques: Located under the external obliques, running the opposite direction.
  • Transverse abdominis : Located under the obliques, it is the deepest of the abdominal muscles and wraps around your spine for protection and stability.
  • Hip flexors: Located in front of the pelvis and upper thigh. These muscles are :psoas major, illiacus, rectus femoris, pectineus and sartorius (you’re welcome you needed to know that)
  • Gluteus medius and minimus – located at the side of the hip
  • Gluteus maximus. hamstring group and piriformis:  Located in the back of the hip and upper thigh leg.
  • Hip adductors: located at medial thigh.

The benefits of good core strength

  •  Reduces Back Pain
    The abdominals get all the credit for protecting the back but they are only a small part of  the core. In fact, it’s weak core muscles that are linked to the most common low back pain. Weak core muscles result in loss of appropriate lumbar curve and bad posture. Stronger, balanced core muscles help maintain appropriate posture and reduce strain on the spine.
  • Improves Athletic Performance
    Because the muscles of the trunk and the torso stabilize the spine from the pelvis to the neck and shoulder, they allow the transfer of power and energy to the arms and legs. All the powerful movements originate from the center of the body out, and never from the limbs alone. Before any powerful, rapid muscle contractions can occur in the extremities, the spine must be solid and stable and the more stable the core, the most powerful the extremities can contract.
  •  Improves Postural Imbalances
    Training the muscles of the core helps correct postural imbalances that can lead to injuries. The biggest benefit of core training is to develop functional fitness; the type of fitness that is essential to daily living and regular activities.

Exercises that will build Core Strength

Core strengthening exercises are the most effective when the torso works as a solid unit and both front and back muscles contract at the same time.

Abdominal bracing is a basic technique used during core exercise training. To correctly brace, you should attempt to pull your navel back in toward your spine. This action primarily recruits the transverse abdominus. You should be able to breathe evenly while bracing and not hold your breath.

What Are the Best Core Exercises?

Core exercises are most effective when they engage many muscles throughout the torso that cross several joints and work together to coordinate stability. Core muscles need to work as a unit, contract at the same time, across joints in order to stabilize the spine. Some of the best core exercises are simple bodyweight exercises, including the following:

  • Plank

  • Side plank

  • The basic push-up

  • V-sits

  • Squats

  • Hip lift

  • Oblique twist

  • Plank on a balance ball

  • Lunge with twist

  • Supermans

Ciao for now!

At home full body workout!

Hi guys,

Happy Friday!

Enjoy this 30 minute bootcamp workout that will kick your butt right at home!

All you need is a yoga mat!

Perform a 2-3 minute warmup including squats, lunges, jumping jacks, running in place.

Do each sets of exercises twice :

  1. 40 squats, run to the other side of the room and back into 20 high knees
  2. 30 reverse lunges, run to the other side of the room and back into 20 high knees
  3. 10 push-ups, run and back to 30 high knees  photo 5
  4. 5 burpees, run and back to 40 high kneesphoto 1
  5. low shuffle from one side of the room to the other, back on mat and 1 burpee
  6. low shuffle side to side of the room, back on mat to 1 inchworm with a push-upphoto 2
  7. 1 minute plank
  8. 1 minute plank jacksphoto 4
  9. 1 minute mountain climbersphoto 3
  10. 2 minutes wall sitphoto 4
  11. 1 minute heel touchesphoto 5
  12. 1 minute Russian twistsphoto 1
  13. 1 minute bicycle crunchphoto 2
  14. 1 minute knee tucksphoto 3

Have a great workout!

Don’t forget to stretch!

Ciao for now!

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 productionYour 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!

For you moms out there!

Hi guys,

Your life is hectic right??

Getting the kids up and ready for school while you are getting ready to, going to work all day, pick up the kids from school, drive them to their activities, come home, get dinner ready, get them ready for bed and back at it the next day.

You do all that because you love your family and your kids are everything to you and that is awesome.

But if they are your whole lie, why are poisoning them?

If you feed them pre packaged lunchables you are killing them slowly but surely!

Look at the ingredients from this lunch combination:

SAMSUNG

Very very long list of ingredient!

If you read the writing in blue at the top “Made with Kraft American Cheese” and in small writing underneath that, it says “pasteurized prepared cheese product.”  It’s not even cheese, but cheese product!

SAMSUNG

The cookie has 22 ingredients!!!!!!

Some nasty ones are: high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavor, processed sugar, canola and/or soybean oil, and soy lecithin.

The turkey has some nasty ingredients in it as well.

First carrageenan, which may be linked to cancer.

Next sodium nitrate which can raise your risk for heart disease.

Further smoke flavor and natural and artificial flavor.

Moving on to the so called cheese, which is not actually cheese, but cheese product. 14 ingredients and more sodium nitrate just in case your kids didn’t get enough with the turkey!

The crackers contain trans fats in the form of partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, soybean oil, sugar and more natural flavor!

One more thing, lunchables are made by Kraft who spent a lot of money to make sure GMO labeling did not pass.  Probably because they really don’t want you to know the junk they put in their food!

Moral of the story, make your own.

It might take you 10 extra minute in the morning or at night but your kids will definitely live a lot longer!

Here is a great post on how to make healthy lunchables for your family!

Ciao for now!