Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!!

Thanksgiving aka "National Eating Olympics" aka "National Diet Destruction"

Don't worry I am not going to advise you to have celery for dinner!  It is National Eating Day and of course you want to somewhat participate; and realistically you will be ingesting more calories than your normal days.  So I'm here to give you a few pointers to use and still enjoy your day!

  1. Start the day off with some sort of cardio at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour!  Now this can be a brisk walk with the family, jumping jacks and crunches inside, elyptical, bicycle, treadmill, or even a jog....just get up and get that metabolism ready!!!
  2. Eat a healthy satisfying breakfast.  Something that will stick with you so you are not starving when you arrive at the Diet Graveyard, but also something low in fat and high in fiber.  Try a homemade fresh fruit protein smoothie or my fav steal cut oats with some berries.
  3. Once you arrive, you probably will be faced with a variety of snacks....yes I could advise you to have a healthy nutritional bar in your bag ready when snack time strikes...but of course you want to dig in.  So when you feel that hunger strike, decide what you would like to try place them on a small plate and enjoy slowly.  Now before getting any more sit and let you food digest....if you are not hungry DO NOT GO BACK and one of my pitfalls DO NOT STAND NEXT TO THE FOOD TABLE!!!....horrid mistake by many!
  4. So if you are the chef for this belly enlarging feast make sure to keep your hands OFF THE FOOD!! Yes if a taste test is required for proper seasoning okay...but no more!!!  You can double your calorie intake just by snacking while you cook.  If you get hungry ask one of your lovely guests to take over for 5 minutes and grab a healthy snack...sit down enjoy and get back to work people are hungry! :)
  5. Okay feasting time!!! Now be are in the danger zone!!!  Try to fill your plate with as much fresh veggies that are on the table.  Stay away from salting your food (there is probably enough already in it from the chef, try pepper if needed), buttering the food (unless its something healthy like Smart Balance...I'm sure the chef cooked enough butter into it), and away from that gravy....ain't nothing healthy about that stuff...and if the food is dry then don't eat it...sign you need a new chef for next year!  Once you are done with plate 1 wait at least 15 minutes before grabbing seconds...if you are satisfied put that fork down!
  6. And as far as drinks...yes it is celebration time and yes you should enjoy...but watch those calories!  Grab a light beer, a glass of red wine or something hard with a bit of seltzer.  Keep it to two drinks...I know I know...but there are kids around!!
  7. Oh jeez now dessert arrives.  And I am sure there will be tons of choices.  Again grab that small plate....and yes tons of choices....if you must try a few be sure to get a few slivers of pie, small scoop of ice cream, small amount of ice cream....key word here SMALL....keeps your waistline SMALL!!
  8. Now conclude your feast with some more cardio!!! I recommend a nice family walk!!! Everyone can use it!  After your walk be done! No more food!
Hope these tips help.

I want to wish everyone a happy, safe, and HEALTHY holiday!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Killing yourself on that elyptical trying to drop a few pounds??? Well you may be stuck because of elevevated cortisol levels!

I took a NASM Sports Performance Training workshop this weekend and the instructor brought up the topic of excess cortisol effects on the body.  Cortisol is a regulator of the immune response.  This is what the body releases under stress...emotional, mental and physical stress.  High cortisol levels result in a catabolic effect on the body's tissue, muscle breakdown.  Basically if you are working out over 15 minutes at a high heart rate you are beginning to produce too much cortisol and instead of your body breaking down fat it is now breaking down lean muscle tissue; what you have been working for!!!  This is where interval training is vital, especially for endurance athletes. 

High levels of cortisol not only lead to chronic muscle break down but also injury, illness, mood swings, body composition, and of course body performance. 

Signs that your workouts are harming and not helping your body:
  • mood swings
  • lack of motivation to train
  • loss of muscle
  • increase in body fat
  • loss of appetite
  • exhaustion and fatigue after every workout
How to avoid the accumulation of your cortisol:

Purchase a heart rate monitor and find your maximum heart rate, your target heart rate and your various workout training zones.  Be sure to recover adequately after a 10-15 minute cardio burst, before beginning your next.  Interval training is great for this.  Also go slow and pay attention to your body,  build up to higher endurance and cardio PATIENT!!! 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Red Red Wine... :)

"Nothing more excellent or valuable than wine was ever granted by the Gods to man." - Plato

Yum drink of choice by far.  Wine is not only great for a little treat and some relaxation, but also has quite a few health benefits.  The key to keeping wine as a health benefit and not a diet destroyer is moderation.  Moderation means one glass per day for women and two glasses per day for men.

Medical Benefits of Red Wine:
  • lowers the risk of heart attack
  • lowers the risk of heart disease
  • positive effects of cholesterol levels and blood pressure
  • protection against certain cancers (breast, colon, leukemia, melanoma, prostate)
What makes wine beneficial to our health?
  • Reveratrol; found in grape seeds.  Reveratrol promotes the formation of HDL (good cholesterol) and prevents the formation of artery blocking LDL (bad cholesterol).  Reveratrol has also been shown to lower DNA mutations, kick start cell death in cancerous cells, prevent the formation of new blood vessels that feed tumors, and neutralize the formation of free-radicals (these damage our healthy cells); which is why red wine has protection capabilities from different cancers.
  • Flavonoid phenolics; antioxidant.  Flavanoids prevent blood clots; this is important in the small vital vessels of the heart and oxygen to these parts of the body=body failure!
Remember the key to keeping red wine beneficial and not harmful to the body is MODERATION!!!!

**More information can be found on the following sites:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Runyon Canyon

We are actually having some wonderful weather this fall!! Get outside and take advantage of it before we are stuck in the gym with cold rainy weather.

I hiked Runyon Canyon last week with some friends and was surprised at the difficulty and the amazing views of downtown LA, Hollywood, and Santa Monica.  Seriously something you have to check out!

The hike is about three miles round trip and ranges in difficulty on your choice of trail steepness. 

Get to Runyon Canyon Park between 8 and 11am and catch one of their free outdoor yoga classes before.

This is a very popular hike and people do bring their dogs.  But believe me you will be inspired by some of these fitness gurus!!

Here's the location:

2000 N Fuller Ave
Fuller and Franklin
Los Angeles, CA 90189