Did you know that would keep you young?

Hi guys,

 

Happy hump day!

Here are some facts on foods which I bet you didn’t know about:

  • Blueberries help your brain stay young because they are high in flavanoid (compound found in fruits and vegetables) which is a super effective antioxidant. 

 

 

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  • Grapes will help keep your skin looking young because they are high in resveratol, a powerful anti-inflammatory and a protector against UV radiation. Go ahead, drink some wine too, same effects!

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  • Barley is a great belly blaster as study shows that non-refined whole grains (quinoa, amaranth too) help reducing belly fat.

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  • Black beans are rich in fibers and will help protect against colon cancer as the fibers speed up digestion and eliminate carcinogens.

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  • Flaxseed help reduce cholesterol as it is packed with Omega 3 that help fight plaque buildup

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  • Hard cheeses will be packed with calcium and therefore help keep your bones strong and protect against osteoporosis.

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  • Broccoli (come on it’s not that bad) is in the cruciferous vegetable family full of phytonutrients that decrease inflammation and help protect against cancer (lung, stomach)

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  • Apples are packed with fiber and pectin that helps reduce cholesterol.

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  • Ginger is high in antioxidants and a great anti inflammatory  that will help relieve muscle soreness pains. Against popular belief, it is not proven to enhance sexual performance sorry everyone!

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Ciao for now!

 

Goal setting

Hi guys,

In order for anybody to succeed in anything that we do, we need to set goals in life.

When it comes to weight loss and exercise, it is the same. You will not be successful at a program without goals.

Let’s talk about starting and sticking to an exercise program that will work for you.

Goals have to be reasonable and realistic; If you go to a one hour kickboxing class and expect to lose 5 pounds by the next day, you will be disappointed and you will probably not go back! It is important that you and your fitness professional (yes yours!) take the time to develop realistic, flexible and individualized SHORT-TERM GOALS using an easy method: SMART GOALS.

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So your goals should be:

SPECIFIC: What are going to do, when, where and with whom? 

So instead of thinking and saying ” I will go to the gym for a 2 hour workout” start thinking and saying “I will go to Virginie zumba class at Studio 4 u every Wednesday and Friday at 6:30 pm with my friend Paula”

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MEASURABLE: How are you going to know when you reach your goals?

So instead of thinking and saying “I will exercise at moderate intensity today” start thinking and saying “I will go for a walk with my dogs with my heart rate at 120 beats per minute for 2 miles” If you achieve distance and heart rate then you met your goals and you have tired doggies. (take you phone with you and download an app that trace heart rate and distance like nike running)

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ATTAINABLE: Can you really do this? Can you do it at this particular time of your journey? 

So instead of thinking and saying “I will do 100 push-ups without stopping on Saturday morning” start thinking and saying “I will do 25 push-ups on Friday and I will work myself up to it by doing 15 on Tuesday and 20 on Thursday”

Do not set yourself up for failure by not allowing yourself to be a novice at exercise!

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RELEVANT: Are your goals relevant to your needs, abilities and interests?

So instead of thinking and saying “I will train to run a 5 k under 15 minutes” start thinking and saying “I will increase the amount of physical activity I do by going to Virginie’s zumba class twice a week”

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TIME-BOUND: How soon, ho often and for how long?

So instead of thinking and saying “I will lose 15% of my body weight in order to improve my health” start thinking and saying “I will lose 15 pounds in the five months before my high school reunion”

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WRITE THEM DOWN, MAKE YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE!!!

Happy goal setting!

Ciao for now!

Surprisingly satisfying

Hi guys,

Here are some salads recipes that you will love!

 

Arugula, blueberry and corn salad

4 side salads or 2 main dishes

Prep 10 minutes

Cook 15 mimutes

Ingredients:

4 corn on the cob, shucked

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp salt

5 oz arugula

6 oz fresh blueberries

1/2 small red onion thinly sliced

1 log goat cheese sliced into 8 rounds

  • Heat grill or pan. Slightly brush with olive oil. Grill corn 15 minutes, turning several times and until lightly charred. Slice kernels off cob.
  • Whisk together vinegar, oil, mustard and 1/4 tsp of salt. Toss with corn, arugula, blueberries, onion and remaining 1/4 tsp salt.
  • Place two goat cheese rounds on each side salads or four on each main dish salads.

Per serving or side salad: 245 calories, 14 g of fat, 9 g of proteins, 27 g of carbs, 4 g fiber. 438 mg of sodium, 13 mg cholesterol

 

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Citrusy salmon salad

4 side salads or 2 main dishes

Prep 15 minutes

Cook 6 minutes

Ingredients:

1 1/4 lbs skin on salmon fillets

3/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice plus 2 tsp zest

1 tsp of Dijon mustard

10 oz of frozen peas thawed

6 cups watercress

5 oz mesclun

1/2 cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds

  • Pat salmon dry and season with 1/4 tsp of salt and the pepper. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Place fillets skin side up in pan and cook for 3 minutes. Flip and cook 3 more minutes for medium. Cool slightly on a plate then cover and refrigerate until cold.
  • In a large bowl, whisk remaining 2 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice and zest, mustard and remaining 1/2 tsp of salt. Remove salmon from fridge and flake into large pieces with a fork discarding the skin. Gently toss salmon in bowl with peas, watercress, mesclun and sunflower seeds.

Per serving or side salad: 428 calories, 24 g of fat, 39 g of protein, 16 g of carbs, 6 g of fiber, 714 mg of sodium, 81 mg of cholesterol

 

Grilled fruits salad

12 servings

Prep 30 minutes

Grill 18 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups mango, cut into 2 inch pieces

2 cups pineapple cut into 2 inch pieces

2 cups watermelon cut into 2 inch pieces

2 cups strawberries trimmed

2 bananas peeled

1 lime halved

1/3 cups pepitas

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

  • Heat a grill or grill pan to medium. Skewer mango, pineapple and watermelon pieces and strawberries about 12 skewers. Grill half the skewers for 3 minutes. Turn and grill 3 more minutes. Repeat with second batch of skewers. Grill bananas 3 minutes, turn and grill another 3 minutes. Grill half limes cut side down for 3 minutes
  • Slices bananas and place in a bowl with fruits (removed from skewers). Juice lime and pour over fruits. Gently toss with pepitas, salt and cayenne pepper. Serve warm.

Per serving: 83 calories, 2 g of fat, 2 g of proteins, 17 g carbs, 2 g of fiber, 27 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol

 

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Cherry tomato bruschetta

Makes 16 bruschetta

Prep 20 minutes

Grill 3 minutes

Ingredients:

1 loaf italian whole grain bread trimmed and cut into 16 pieces each about 1/2 inch thick

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 cup ricotta cheese

1/4 basil leaves, chopped plus small leaves for garnish

1/2 tsp lemon zest

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 gloves garlic halved lengthwise

1 1/2 heirloom cherry tomatoes sliced

1 tbsp lemon juice

  • Heat grill or grill pan to medium high. Brush bread slices on one side with 1 tbsp of the oil. Grill oil side down for 1 1/2 minutes. Brush with 1 tbsp of olive oil and flip slices over. Grill another 1 1/2 minutes or until toasted and lightly marked. Put on a platter.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta, 1 tbsp of the chopped basil, the lemon zest and 1/4 tsp each of the salt and pepper.
  • Rub cut side of a garlic clove half on 4 of the bread slices. Repeat with remaining garlic cloves halves and remaining grilled bread.
  • Gently toss cherry tomato slices with remaining 1 tbsp olive oil, remaining chopped basil, remaining 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper and lemon juice.
  • Spread 1 tbsp pf the ricotta mixture on each grilled bread slice. Top with a spoonful of the tomato mixture and garnish with basil leaves.

Per piece: 106 calories, 5 g of fat, 4 g of proteins, 11 g of carbs, 1 g fiber, 191 mg sodium, 8 mg cholesterol

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Happy salads!

 

Exercise your way to happiness!

Hi guys,

 

According to the National Institute of Mental Health approximately 1/4 of American adults have one or more mental health disorders.

Anxiety and depression are the two most widespread and are increasing worldwide.

Science says that exercise may improve mental health in the following ways:

  • By enhancing physiological health

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Being physically active will benefit overall brain health by reducing the risks factors of poor mental health(inflammation,diabetes,hypertension and cardiovascular disease) and increasing blood flow thus delivery of nutrients and energy.

  • By raising tolerance for emotional stress

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Exercise is stressful thus increasing regular exercises will increase your resilience towards other forms of physical and emotional stress.

 

  • By increasing familiarity with physical stress

 

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Anxiety sufferers experience symptoms like elevated heart rate, increased sweating and chills. Regular exercise can help control the experience of physiological stress and the symptoms become less frightening.

 

  • By boosting self efficacy

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Mastering a new skill will improve self efficacy and therefore improve self esteem and learning how to exercise is the perfect example of a new skill

 

  • By fostering social contact

 

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Social interaction can drastically improve the mood and exercising with friends boosts the mood

 

  • By increasing exposure to the outdoors and sunlight

 

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Engaging in exercise outdoors lift up the spirit and exposure to sunlight raises neurotransmitter levels therefore the mood

 

  • By diverting negative thinking

 

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Depressed or anxious people often get stuck in negative thoughts cycles and regular exercise is a diversion of negative inner thoughts towards thoughts of pleasurable present experiences

 

  • By encouraging engagement instead of avoidance

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Focusing on exercise provides value and a structured program will direct the focus on the value of the activity rather than the withdrawal

 

Exercise yourself to happiness!

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Ciao for now

meal planning is key!

Hi guys,

If you are trying to lose weight or just trying to eat healthier, you need to be prepared!

You need to have all your meals planned out and cooked so all you have to do when you get home an face the hungry family is heat, serve and enjoy!

Here is my week in pictures:

I cooked fish, chicken and pork and my vegetables and legumes so I can pick and choose my sides.

Everything is baked or grilled with a touch of light olive oil.

Baked chicken drumettes, delicious with quinoa!

 

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Baked pork loin rubbed with garlic and cooked with small red potatoes:

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Chicken thighs in grapefruit juice, delicious and so healthy…remove the skin and serve with lentils!Image

 

 

Grilled tilapia perfect with quinoa and lemon juice!

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Grapefruit salad, my favorite after a long workout!

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Sauteed vegetables with organic italian chicken sausage:

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Sides:

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It only took me 2 hours to cook all that and I make the salad for lunch/dinner the day off!

It allows me to have a crazy schedule and to not worry about what my family is going to eat while I am not here!

Happy meal planning!

Ciao for now!

 

 

still eating fast food?

Hi guys,

If you are still eating fast food maybe these will deter you…

 

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Mc Donald’s lunch:

1 big mac with yummy totally fake beef 540 calories

1 large fries totally fried in trans fats oils 500 calories

1 chocolate sundae packed with 5000 spoons of sugar 280 calories

1 chocolate chip cookie made of totally GMO wheat flour 160 calories

total for you yummy lunch : 1480 calories

In order for you to burn that amount of calories exercising you need to do 2 hours and 15 minutes of this:

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How fun!

Five guys lunch:

1 bacon burger packed with the amount of fat you need for a whole week 780 calories

1 regular fries because you are not that hungry 620 calories

1 bottle of water great choice 0 calories

Total lunch : 1400 calories

In order for you to burn that amount of calories exercising you need to do 4 hours of this:

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Are you excited?? you are gonna feel your abs for sure!

Burger King lunch:

1 BLT salad with dressing, don’t get me started on this one 690 calories

1 side of onion rings just because you are eating your greens today 320 calories

1 ice cream sunday small side thank god! 530 calories

1 sprite no refill 190 calories

Total lunch 1730 calories

In order for you to burn that amount of calories exercising you need to do 4 hours of this:

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You are gonna have nice shoulders!

Taco bell lunch:

1 burrito supreme full of delicious slow cooked beans, yeah right 390 calories

1 small cheesy nachos with that orange all natural cheese 270 calories

1 Sierra mist no refill 200 calories

Total lunch : 860 calories and you are probably still hungry!

In order for you to burn that amount of calories exercising you need to do 1 hour and 15 minutes of this:

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Make sure you have your ipod with you!

Subway lunch you are watching your weight!

1 6″ turkey and avocado sub on whole grain bread 390 calories good choice

1 chocolate chip cookie because they are at subway they are good for you NOT 220 calories

1 sprite no refill 260 calories

Total lunch 870 calories

In order for you to burn that amount of calories exercising you need to do 2 hours of this:

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Everybody loves jumping jacks right?

Last but not least 

Pizza hut lunch

1 6″ meat lovers personal pizza yes your own artery clogging pizza 850 calories

1 large pepsi 400 calories

total lunch 1250 calories

In order for you to burn that amount of calories exercising you need to do 2 hours of this:

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Kickboxing rocks!

Anyway my point is 

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unless you want to 

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for hours upon hours because if not…

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ciao for now!

 

 

 

Not fit in at the gym or in your clothes??

Hi guys,

So you are done being unhealthy and fat.

You are finally ready to quit quitting your so called DIEt (hint see the first 3 letters…) on Tuesday and your walking 200 miles a day regimen that you started AGAIN last Monday!

First, let me tell something, being healthy should not be such a headache and eating better will come naturally after a little while (Read this post) but you have to put a bit of effort into it, just like all the efforts your put into eating all that fast food crap 🙂

But let’s not go there and just assume that you are ready to get that gym membership that you always wanted and you are ready to start exercising!

So few tips because trust me when you are going to walk in the gym, you’ll automatically want to turn around and go to Mc Donalds!

Outfit: Keep it simple, not too flashy, too baggy or too tight…You don’t want to look like tootsie roll or the Michelin guy…

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                        Yes                                                                    No, no yet anyway

Shoes:

Well if you want to run, buy running shoes, if you want to do cardio classes or weight training don’t, simple as that!

Ipod:

Make sure you download music that makes you want to get up and move, no classical tunes for sure!

Ok now walk in…Yes you can! 

Treadmill:

Yes sure why not but don’t spend hours on it, it won;t benefit you much more, 15 to 20 minutes should be plenty especially at the beginning and don’t worry about the burn zone (Omg what the hell is that, what’s burning??), the incline, the trail in the mountains with Jillian Michaels…Just hit start and walk!

Other machines:

Well I would recommend you ask a personal trainer which machine should work for you depending on what you want to accomplish, at this point, you just want to get healthy right? so I wouldn’t worry about it too much! but know that the trainers are on the floor to healp you and explain to you how to work those things.

Group exercise classes, my favorite.

So you are staring a 50 absolutely insane fit ladies screaming woot woot at the top of your lungs to some spanish apparently well know song and you are thinking..What the hell?? Que pasa? How? Why? What?

Then you look at the schedule or menu as some want to call it…and you see:

Bootcamp:

Burn tons of fat with this military inspired workout…You: I don’t have tons of fat?? Is that military training? No way Jose!

Kickboxing or worse Cardio Kickboxing:

A combination of cardio, boxing and martial arts…You: Is somebody gonna hit me? What is art about Martial?

Insanity:

A revolutionary cardio-based total-body conditioning program based on the principles of MAX Interval Training…You: Conditioning? Interval what? I just want to lose 10 pounds!

H.I.I.T:

High Intensity Interval Training…You: I am out of here!

Zumba:

A Latin inspired total body workout…You: Dancing? With the stars? I didn’t even dance at my wedding and I have two left feet!

My point…Do not be afraid as all of this will make sens eventually!

Try to find something that is not too crazy at first and where you can relate to the people in there (age, body shape) , the instructor (smiling, fit) and the music (60’s, techno, latino).

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Ask the people in the class how it’s done, they will say, Oh I don’t really know I just come here to sweat and have fun! Just follow the instructor!

Tell the instructor (yes the crazy one screaming are you ready? on the stage) that it is your first time and they will give you a few tips.

Stay in the back? No you want to be upfront so you can see what is going on and not hurt yourself!

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Weight room:

Get accustomed to your new environment and make sure to ask the how, when, what to a trainer so you don’t get hurt newbie!

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Pool:

Yes! That is only if you dare wear a bathing suit…Never mind, I don’t even wear one at the gym yet!

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The gym is a very scary place full of fit people that used to be fat and fat people trying to get fit so don’t worry about Ken and Barbie with a 6 pack squatting 250 lbs, they don’t worry about you and the fact that you are new but I can assure you that they will help you in any way they can because they probably have been in your shoes!

 

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Quitting the gym because you don’t FIT IN is another excuse like I don’t have time or it’s too hard.

Would you rather not fit in the gym or in your clothes…YOU TELL ME!

Ciao for now! Go workout and eat a salad!

 

 

 

 

Before you eat…

Before you eat, ask yourself: Am I hungry?

Do you find yourself eating when you are for sure not hungry like, one hour after dinner while you are watching your favorite show?

Rest assure, you are not the only one…Here is some reasons why you eat and how to do damage control.

You are coping…

Emotional eating is a big one, we all snack on ice cream because we feel sad or lonely or even devour an entire pizza because the boss made you angry telling you suck!

You need to find out what the underlying issues are probably by seeing a shrink but keeping a food journal will help you figure out what emotion triggers what so you can foresee it happen and run to the gym or call a friend to take you out for a walk!

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You are bored…

Sometimes you are just plain bored..not sure how that happens but anyway you might be bored and find yourself with your head in the refrigerator wondering where that bucket of wings went??? (ask your husband he was doing you a favor). According to not so friendly lab rats, it appears that lack of dopamine (hormone responsible for arousal hmmm, motivation, reward and more) in the state of boredom might be the cause and eating might just be what releases that hormone.

Make sure that your days off are packed with fun family activities, shopping, walks so you never have to deal with boredom!

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Because your spouse and friends are stuffing their face next to you:

Just so can fit in or not stand out, you will be tempted to get a second serving just because everybody else is!

Be your own person damn it…If you are full, you are full don’t eat anymore, just enjoy the fun times and conversations and if you can’t resist, get up and walk around the restaurant for fresh air until it’s coffee time!

 

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Food is right there so why not?

You have snickers bars lying on your desk at work? Your coworker has left over cake just waiting for you to grab it? Your kid’s oreo’s are right there when you open your cabinet?

When food is there, it makes is harder for you to say no and control yourself so first, don’t buy it so you won’t eat it, kids can go to the neighbors for oreo’s, second put it on the highest shelf if you already bought it because you won’t see it and won’t eat it and third turn your back to the table (like at work or at a party) or the desk so you won’t see what is there while you are praying for your other coworkers to eat it!

 

It’s a special occasion…Yeah you are getting older lol

It’s your birthday yeah…let’s have cake, your cousin just had a kid yeah…let’s get drunk, your first born got their driving license yeah…let’s make cupcakes!

At this rate, you will pack on the pounds before you even realize it so you could either skip the celebration altogether, not fun I know, bring some healthy snacks for you or to share or use your willpower and say no…never mind just imagine that you are eating that food and you will be satisfied and able to celebrate without compromising that bikini figure you are working so hard on!

 

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You are tired

After a long morning at the office, you hit the 3 pm wall and are ready to fall asleep head first on your desk. Well, first I have to say that you should start eating healthier and an exercise regimen, it will give you plenty of energy so you can work all day without thinking that you need a nap, GUARANTEED! Anyway, back to the 3 pm crash, you need something so you can finish your day so go for that sugary energy drink or that giant supersized 350 grams of sugar candy bar…Well try to get up from your desk, go take a walk around the office or the block to get some sun and on your way back, get a cup of black coffee (yes no cream no sugar) or green tea before you get back to work!

 

It’s free….

Don’t get me started on that one, you know better! ask yourself…Am I hungry? Is it worth it? How much do I need?

You don’t need it, move on!

Happy hump day!