Wednesday, December 29, 2010

FINDING YOUR PASSION



WEEK 2 : PASSION

Last week we focused on becoming aware of yourself and what you eat-discoveries that will be extremely important for you. One day you’ll suddenly be conscious that you're listening intuitively to your body’s needs and at that point, food will become a pleasure and will no longer control or threaten you.

STEP 7: DISCOVER YOUR PATH

You may feel that you have no idea what your passion is or even how to find it. Have you ever heard the saying” you can’t see the forest for the trees”? well, many of us have wandered down a path that led us so deep into the forest that we felt lost and unsure. We’ve completely lost our bearings and don’t even know where we are anymore.

Passion isn’t to be confused with obsession or unbridled intensity, nor is it about sexuality. To live with passion is to “move to the beat of your own drum”- to face fear and do it anyway!

Discovering and following your own way can feel frightening; and you may feel guilty, afraid, or even too proud to admit that you are on the wrong path. Fear holds most of us back- but conquering it appears harder than it actually is. Simply facing what frightens you is the biggest step. The alternative is to live a life not fully lived, leaving you feeling stuck. Helpless, waiting, and wondering. I’ll often tell my clients to fake it till you make it”. Imagine someone you admire and ask yourself what choice she or he’d make in your same situation.

I want you to get out your journal . Relax in quiet spot without distractions( no phone, t.v, computer, etc..) the first thing I want you to think about is how you want to feel.. Scan over words and write down whichever ones intrigue you. Without judgement or justification, simply notice the words that most inspire , soothe, fascinate, or excite you:

Abundance, acceptance, accomplishment, achievement, acknowledgment, adoration, adventure, affluence, ambition, appreciation, ability, assertiveness, attractiveness, awareness,balance, beauty, belonging, bliss, boldness, bravery ,brilliance, calmness, celebrity, charm, cheerful , cleanliness, clear-mindedness, cleverness, closeness, comfort, commitment, compassion,confidence, connection, consciousness, consistency,contentment, contribution, conviction, coolness,
courage, creativity, curiosity, daring, dependable
desire, determination, devotion, devoutness, dignity, directness, discipline, discovery, diversity, dreaming, dynamism, eagerness, ecstasy, education, effectiveness, efficiency, elation,elegance, eloquence,empathy,encouragement, endurance, energy, enjoyment, entertainment,enthusiasm, excellence, excitement, exhilaration,experience, expertise, exploration, expressiveness,extravagance, faith, fame, family, fashion, fearlessness, feistiness, ferocity, fidelity, fierceness, financial independence, firmness, fitness, flexibility,focus, fortitude, frankness, freedom, fun, generosity, gentility, giving, grace,gratitude, gregariousness, growth, harmony, health, heart, helpfulness, heroism, holiness, honesty, honor, hopefulness, humility, Imagination, independence, ingenuity,, insightfulness, inspiration, integrity, intelligence,intensity, intimacy, intuition, intuitiveness,Inventiveness, joy, justice, keenness, kindness,knowledge, leadership,learning, liberation,liveliness, logic, longevity, love, loyalty,making a difference, mastery, maturity, mindfulness,modesty, motivation, mysteriousness, neatness, open-mindedness, optimism, order, organization, originality, outlandishness, passion, peace, perceptiveness, perfection, perkiness, perseverance, persistence,persuasiveness,philanthropy,piety,playfulness,pleasure,poise,
polish,popularity,potency,power,practicality,precision,preparedness,privacy,
productivity,professionalism, prosperity,prudence, punctuality, purity, realism, reason,reasonableness, recognition, recreation, refinement, reflection, relaxation, reliability, resilience, resolution, resolve, resourcefulness, respect, rest, restraint, reverence, richness,, sacrifice, sagacity, saintliness, satisfaction, security, self-control, selflessness, self-reliance, sensuality, serenity, service, sharing, shrewdness, significance, silence,stillness,simplicity, sincerity, skillfulness, solidarity, speed, spirit, spirituality, spontaneity, spunk, stability, stillness, strength, success, support,temperance, thankfulness, thoroughness, timeliness, tranquility, transcend'valor, victory vigor,virtue, vision, vitality, vivacity, warmth, watchfulness,wealth, willingness, winning, wisdom, wittiness,wonder, youthfulness, zeal.

As you look over the words, say out loud, I want to feel_______ and say each word in your list to see if your body speaks back to you. Ask yourself , Does that really light me up? Is that specific emotion really important to me? And compare and narrow it down to top 10 words - these words should be the ones that most captivate you.

Remember it is not how you are going to get there but why you want to get there that is more important and how you want to feel.

Why do you want to lose weight? Etc.. Once you discover how you want to feel, it makes figuring out what choices you need to make that much easier!

Deeper questions to think about:

When you think back over your adult life when were you the happiest?
What made you feel great about yourself when you were a kid?
What hobbies or activities did you love?
When do you feel true joy?
Will getting in shape make you happier? Why haven’t you done it before now?
Why do you want to be in better shape?
What are you most afraid of in life? What has that fear cost you?


These are your burning desires and could include things such as: "I want to feel sexy and confident. I want more energy or to feel proud of myself. I want security and well-being. I want to live a long and healthy life," and so on,burning desires are different from your goals-they're why you want to accomplish something, so they strengthen the intensity of your focus.
These burning desires must be written down. Once you've done so, make a photocopy of your list tape it up where you'll see it every day, such as beside the toilet paper holder or on your bathroom mirror. Read it daily, or anytime you're feeling discouraged or disheartened.


Things always seem harder without purpose. It's a strong, burning desire gives us the drive to succeed.
Having a goal helps you create an effective plan of action because it just the right amount of pressure needed to actually accomplish the aim! Goal setting requires thought, keeps you on track,you stay focused. Although life is full of unexpected,without direction you'll simply coast along, wondering what you should be doing.
Goal setting is vitally important to setting your life In motion and getting the ball moving! Your goals for the next 12 weeks should be challenging


Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Realistic
Time-Bound

Summary of Week Two: Passion

Body

• Choose natural, "dark-colored" fibrous fruits and vegetables such as berries and salads; and avoid white colored" carbohydrates such as white potatoes, white bread, white rice, white sugar, and white pasta.
• Try to eat three healthy meals and two snacks every day.
• Start tightening and toning your muscles with your boot camp workouts

Mind
• Create your list of Burning Desires and your Self-
Proclaiming Declaration, and refuse to bring attention
to your weaknesses.

Soul
• Discover your path. Begin by figuring what revs you
up, without judgment or justification. You don't need
to know how you're going to get there yet. First you
need to know where there is....

Monday, December 20, 2010

AWARENESS



This week is about Awareness

It is important for this to work that you write down in a journal your discoveries...

Step 1 Figure out what you crave

Many clients complain to me that they eat well and or exercise but still can’t seem to lose their bulge. Haven’t we all know those who exercise for hours or who’s constantly on diet and never looks any different...It’s not about working hard, it about working smart. Understand what your body needs to excel at optimal levels. In order to discover the right formula for your body, you must become conscious of your current eating habits and coping skills. Are there certain times of day when you fell tired, or there types of food you always seem to crave? By answering the following questions you may be able to identify some of your food weakness and start making healthy changes in your diet.

1. When you go to movies , you prefer

a. Candy, chocolate, or popcorn
b. Nuts or beef jerky
c. An alcoholic drink before or after movies

2. A late-night treat might include

a. Cookies, chocolate, cake, ice cream, cereal, french fries,crackers
b. Chicken wings, cheese, cold cuts, yogurt, or nuts
c. A nightcap glass of wine

3. If you rushed into the house hungry and grabbed something quick, you’d pick

a. Apiece of fruit, glass of juice, a soda , cookie, candy bar, bread, muffin,some chip
b. Cheese, meat, yogurt, or peanuts
c. A beer or glass of wine

4. Your favorite part of a traditional thanksgiving or Christmas dinner is the

a. Cakes, pies, potatoes, pasta, yams, or stuffing
b. Turkey, ham, roast beef, or gravy
c. Toasts you make with the family or friends

5. Which would be the hardest for you to give up completely for one month?

a. Comfort foods such as ice cream, cake, chocolate, soda, fruit, pasta, bread, potatoes, cereal, or chips
b. Seafood, red meat, pork, poultry, eggs, cheese, or luncheon meat
c. Alcohol

Scoring
If you predominantly answered (a) you crave carbohydrates. Although vegetables, and fruits should be the staple of a healthy diet since that is where we get all our vitamins and fiber. Too many of us are eating an exorbitant amount of carbohydrates, with far too much coming from refined sugars. Refined sugars, such add those in candy, soda chocolate, sauces, dressings, condiments, and cookies and are easily stored as fat: similarly, white bread, white rice, and white potatoes are high in starch and are also easily stored as fat. The appetites even if the product is labeled no or low fat... the are more people eating fat free foods and gaining weight –than ever before because they tend to overeat them thin king they are healthy.
If you answered (b) mostly you crave protein. It is essential and it speeds the metabolism and has little effect on insulin production. It is the building blocks of lean toned muscles... Although protein isn’t easily stored as fat, the saturated fat in many dark meats and mil products is. Here no or low fat is vital choices.
If you answered mostly( c). you crave alcohol. Alcohol slows your metabolism and is a depressant. It has nearly 2 x amounts of calories of carbs and protein –one glass of wine a day will put on extra 10lbs per year! Alcohol increases risk for cancer especially breast cancer in women. It is also dehydrating-it can make your eyes, face, and hands appear puffy and give your skin a bumpy fat like cellulite on skin. It also lowers will power and can sabotage your good eating habits

Ste p 2 Become aware of your eating patterns

The key to becoming healthier understands your relationship you have with yourself. Before you can manifest positive changes, you must first figure out where you are right now and how you got there. Self awareness…and it the first step towards discovering if food plays more of a role in your life than to feed your hungry tummy.
Here are some questions to help you think about awareness

• Do you eat breakfast daily?
• Do you eat within two to three hours of bedtime?
• How long to you go between meals?
• Do you eat foods simply out of habit?
• Do you crave junk food at certain times of the day?
• Do you feel that specific foods go hand in hand with certain events, such as movies and popcorn, beer and baseball games?
• Are you an emotional eater?
• Do you eat out of boredom?
• Does food provide you comfort when you’re upset or stressed?
• Do you feel tired a lot, especially by 2 or 3 in afternoon?
• Do you have bowel movement daily without aids?
• Do you take heartburn meds such as Tums?
• Do you feel bloated by the time evening comes?
• Do you have PMS?
• Does alcohol make the good times better and bad times better?
Now think back to your childhood or teen years and look at your family. See if your choices now simply continue those patterns and support those beliefs:
• Was dinner a celebration, a time to come together each night around table, where you bonded with your family and ate healthy meals?
• Was it first-come, first served land could you eat whatever you wanted
• What was the emotional atmosphere like in your home as a child?
• How did your parents comfort themselves when they were upset or stressed out? How did they comfort you? How did you comfort yourself?
• Was fast food a staple of your diet?
• Did you learn poor eating habits from your family?
• Did your parents exercise? Where they in shape?
• What do you remember being told about your body?
• Was your family overweight?
• Did you eat out of boredom?
• When did you struggle with your weight or body image and what was happening in your life
• Did you have a rough childhood or teenage life

Please don’t get me wrong here... I don’t want to suggest that every person out there who has body fat to lose has deep emotional issues, or that anyone who eats a bowl of ice cream or glass of wine is repressed or on a verge of a breakdown. Sometimes you wake up and feel rotten for no particular reason, be it lack of sleep, PMS, a virus, or extra workload. You just need to accept that you periodically feel blue-it isn’t a life shattering event. A hot cup of coffee and chocolate bar can occasionally work wonders, and even a super sized hamburger meal or banana split isn’t the end of the world, but I want you to consider the possibility that food may play more of a role in your life than you realized...

Ask yourself

• Do you eat when you really need sleep?
• Is it harder to stay on track at night when you’re tired and physically drained? Do you binge when you’re on your period or ovulating?
• Do you feel a lack of self restraint when faced with a decadent meal?
• Are you an all or nothing kind of person- that is strict on your diet , then after one night of too many food or alcohol, you give up completely?
• If you love the taste of something, do you continue eating it after you are full?
• Do you listen to your body’s true desires?
• How do you feel an hour after eating too much or when you’ve gone too long without meal?
• Do you feel you deserve a treat after you have been good?
• Are you bored and feel you are in a rut?
• Are you pursuing your dreams

Whenever you feel as though something outside of yourself has a hold over you, you’re oppressed by it? Too often your sense of power with statements such as I can’t live without it. The realization and acceptance that you can and will live as long as you have yourself... is empowering...In retrospect, temporary abstinence from anything is actually liberating, even though it’s tough at the time. You’ll discover how strong you really are. The thing you thought you couldn’t live without is now an occasional want, not a need. Once you relinquish any dependency-whether on chocolate, mashed potatoes, wine, you can begin to truly enjoy it..
.
Step 3 Eliminate sugar

What you eat, how much you eat, is even more important for weight loss success. Some foods speed up your metabolism and help you burn body fat, while others will impede your success. This week we will focus on carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are all sugars…fruits, vegetables, cookies, granola bars, cereals...Even foods we think of as protein of fats are actually loaded with sugar..Beans, lentils are high in carbohydrates, as are ice cream, milk, yogurt, and salad dressing. Be aware of what percentage is from carbs. Most people who struggle with weight are eating 80% carbs….When eating high glycemic foods you will experience a surge in blood sugar...your body wants to maintain homestasis, so it send s out hormone insulin to remove sugar from bloodstream and stores it in your cells, then you dip, and body sends out signal to eat again….Hunger pains, headache, cravings, fatigue, depression sets in…As these dips in our blood sugar go up and down so does our moods and behavior.. Sugar is a powerful drug...It is similar to nicotine cravings... Once you get off roller coaster, you won’t want them as much...but it takes time and a little willpower...

Step 4 Eat breakfast

It is the most important meal of the day. Studies show those who lose weight and keep it off successfully eat breakfast daily, as this meal elevates the metabolism and helps burn body fat. If you try to restrict calories by not eating breakfast, you will slow your metabolic rate... When you miss meals and don’t exercise, it’s like you’re throwing big wet log on the campfire, The secret to eat the right foods first thing in am...are eating those that crank your metabolism…are low in sugar and saturated fat and high in protein, vitamins, and fiber..

Step 5 Drink water

Research shows that not drinking enough water may increase fat deposits because the liver can’t function properly... Water will fill stomach, making you less hungry, it will improve complexion, flush toxins and help you metabolize food better.

Step 6 Exercise

Try to go for a minimum of 3x per week...Exercise first thing in morning is the best for raise metabolic rate...Try to exercise on empty stomach or just something really light...You may have to get up a little earlier but the benefits outweigh sleeping in…Exercise is a nature’s prozac..3 x per week has been showed to help mild depression and was just as effective as other mood altering disorders as taking antidepressants...Moving your body will have profound effect on your temperament...You are 99 percent more likely to miss a workout if you plan to do it later…



SUMMARY OF THINGS TO WORK ON THIS WEEK



Body

Go for 3 xs per week exercise sessions, preferably in the morning...
Focus on eliminating sugar
Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily

Mind

Use a journal to become aware of your eating patterns to figure out what you craze
Soul

Look back to when you first started gaining weight...what was going on in your life?

NEXT WEEK WE WILL MOVE ON TO ANOTHER TOPIC….IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE YOUR DISCOVERIES WITH US YOU CAN IN BOOT CAMP OR COMMENT ON MY BLOG ANONOMOUSLY…..


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Here is Great research on benefits of krill oil omega-3 for fat loss


Here is Great research on benefits of krill oil omega-3


Check out the research my partners at Prograde have done on this great supplement.

Astaxanthin for Endurance & Fat Loss

By Cassandra Forsythe-Pribanic, PhD, RD, CSCS
Have you ever wondered why krill oil was brightly colored red instead of yellow like other marine omega-3 lipids? Well, this red shade is not only pretty to look at, but it can help you burn more fat and increase your athletic endurance; added benefits we’re all looking for.

This pigment responsible for giving krill oil it’s unique color is a special red carotenoid called astaxanthin. If that isn’t just a mouthful enough to say, it’s also has been demonstrated to have a laundry list of pharmacological effects including as an anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, and anti-inflammatory agent. But, what we’re going to focus on here is fat loss and endurance.

Sources of Astaxanthin
Astaxanthin is a colorful antioxidant that occurs naturally in a few different foods – mainly of marine sources. It’s the primary reason some fish and seafood are colored red; the pink flesh of salmon is a perfect example. However, you have to be careful: many farmed fish are given a synthetic version of astaxanthin in their diet, or their flesh is dyed with it before being sold in the market because astaxanthin is lacking in farmed fish feed. In the wild, salmon and other fish get astaxanthin naturally from the microalgae they eat. In fact, microalgae is the greatest naturally-occurring source of astaxanthin; shrimp, krill and salmon are red from eating it.


Another place to get astaxanthin in human diets is from bright yellow egg yolks, but again, this usually comes from synthetic form of astaxanthin fed to chickens; organic chickens are fed natural compounds containing astaxanthin, so that’s your best bet. Most red, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables are colored due to other natural carotenoids, like beta-carotene. The best way for humans to get astaxanthin naturally is to eat a diet of wild salmon, trout, seafood, and organic chicken eggs, and take supplements rich in astaxanthin, like krill oil.

Fat Loss, Endurance and You

A group of Japanese researchers recently demonstrated that mice given astaxanthin in several different doses along with a high fat diet had significantly lower body weight and body fat levels compared to mice fed a high fat diet of the same calorie level. Astaxanthin also reduced liver weight, liver triglyceride content, and blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. What this means is that when added to a high-fat, high-calorie diet, astaxanthin prevented mice from becoming overweight with a fatty liver and high blood fat levels. The way astaxanthin did this was not by reducing the digestion of absorption of dietary fat, but instead by increasing the usage of fat as an energy source. This was supported by a decrease in the respiratory exchange ratio (RER), which indicates that fat was used for fuel, instead of carbohydrates.


Mice can run on treadmills too!

In another Japanese study, mice were given astaxanthin along with a daily exercise routine (and if you’ve never seen mice run on a treadmill, you’re really missing out). They were divided into four groups: sedentary, sedentary plus with astaxanthin, running exercise, and exercise plus astaxanthin. After four weeks the animals in the exercise groups were placed on a treadmill to test a range of physical parameters. Similar to the study above, astaxanthin increased fat usage during exercise and accelerated the normal decrease in body fat that occurs with regular exercise. It did this by increasing the movement of fats into the mitochondria for energy production via enhanced carnitine palmitoyltransferase I (CPT I) activity (a transport protein for fat located on the cell membrane). What this means is that astaxanthin supplementation spared muscle glycogen (a normal fuel source for exercise) and used fat stores instead.

Finally, mice given astaxanthin in doses of either 1.2, 6, or 30 mg/kg body weight for 5 weeks along with regular swimming exercise were shown to have a significant increase in exercise time to exhaustion (meaning they swam longer) than mice given a placebo. Blood lactate levels (a marker of exercise fatigue) were lower in the animals given astaxanthin, while blood non-esterified fatty acid and glucose levels were higher (indicating that astaxanthin spared blood energy sources). Overall, astaxanthin improved swimming endurance when given for only a short period of time.


What Dose is Needed for Humans?

Many people criticize animal research as being irrelevant to humans, but that’s not entirely correct. True, we’re a different species, but our enzymes, muscle function and metabolisms are scarily similar. Plus, there’s only so many humans you can poke holes in before someone starts to get suspicious. But I digress…

The doses used in these animal studies can be converted to human doses. All of the studies above used the same astaxanthin doses. At the lowest level of 1.2 mg/kg for mice, this translates to a dose of 0.1 grams (100 mg) for humans. At the minimum, humans can still take a dose of 0.012 grams (12 mg) of astaxanthin from all dietary sources and see results over no astaxanthin at all because research with humans have shown this dose to be effective for reducing blood triglyceride levels and increasing healthy blood HDL cholesterol levels. Further, doses have been suggested to accumulate over time, since it is fat-soluble, so lower doses would act as higher doses with longer durations of supplementation.

Astounding Astaxanthin

Overall, astaxanthin holds promise as a fat-burning, exercise-enhancing, health-improving dietary nutrient. By eating a diet rich in red-colored seafood like salmon and shrimp and supplementing with natural sources of astaxanthin from oils of krill and microalgae, you can increase the tools to keep your body lean, fit, and free of disease. And, in this age of chronic diseases and foods full of high-calorie anti-nutrients, we need all the tools we can get.



Go to www.stafit.getprograde.com to purchase yours today!











Resources:

Ikeuchi M, Koyama T, Takahashi J, Yazawa K. Effects of astaxanthin in obese mice fed a high-fat diet. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2007 Apr;71(4):893-9. Epub 2007 Apr 7.
Aoi W, Naito Y, Takanami Y, Ishii T, Kawai Y, Akagiri S, Kato Y, Osawa T, Yoshikawa T. Astaxanthin improves muscle lipid metabolism in exercise via inhibitory effect of oxidative CPT I modification. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008 Feb 22;366(4):892-7. Epub 2007 Dec 17.
Ikeuchi M, Koyama T, Takahashi J, Yazawa K. Effects of astaxanthin supplementation on exercise-induced fatigue in mice. Biol Pharm Bull. 2006 Oct;29(10):2106-10.
Yoshida H, Yanai H, Ito K, Tomono Y, Koikeda T, Tsukahara H, Tada N. Administration of natural astaxanthin increases serum HDL-cholesterol and adiponectin in subjects with mild hyperlipidemia. Atherosclerosis. 2010 Apr;209(2):520-3. Epub 2009 Oct 14.
Fassett RG, Coombes JS. Astaxanthin, oxidative stress, inflammation and cardiovascular disease. Future Cardiol. 2009 Jul;5(4):333-42.

Uncover A Healthier Mind,Body, and Spirit in 12 Weeks





Uncover the New You In 90Days

Beginning the journey….

Starting this journey, we must set some baselines of where you are and where you would like this journey to take you. A vision of how you want to see yourself, how you want to feel, and want you want to change.
The truth is we all know what to do. We need to move our bodies more, we know we need to drink more water, we know we should eat more fruits and vegetables, we need more sleep, we know, we know, we know…Yet three to four weeks after we start that diet or join the gym, something triggers us to begin to self-sabotaging- and within a few more weeks, we’re back to our old patterns. We feel defeated, frustrated, and soon self-punishing begins.

Why is it that only a small percentage of people can stick to a healthy lifestyle? What is that ever-elusive secret to success? And how do we keep it up for a lifetime?
After working with many clients over the years, I’ve discovered that although we must nourish ourselves with the right balance of healthy foods and exercise to look and feel fantastic, until we transform ourselves from within, diets and exercise are futile. We may lose weight, but our problems will just manifest themselves in another way. Therefore, your focus can’t be just about your body. For the most part weight loss and significant weight gain aren’t about weight: they are about something going on much deeper. The body is merely just a messenger, sending us warning signs when we’re disconnected- and weight gain is just one of them. A heart attack is an extreme warning that things aren’t working properly but small yet significant signs will tell you when something in your life is out of balance, if you will listen...

Your Body

Your body is your vehicle for being. In others words, it’s like the ship that sails on this “ocean” we call life. Your body allows your soul- or captain of your ship- to float and flow in this physical world.
A healthy body- or an unsinkable ship- is the most important thing you’ve got, yet sadly, it’s not until we face a serious health scare that we realize it. Frantically, we then try to undo the damage we’ve haphazardly and unnecessarily done to ourselves!
Christopher Reeves-superman- remarked in one of his last interviews that so many able bodied people live more paralyzed lives than he. How frustrating it must be to those who are faced with life-threatening health condition or those living undernourished country to watch so many of us totally disrespect our bodies!
The fact remains that your body is your temple and must be treated with love, honor, and respect. Thinkof building your temple from the bottom up, like a pyramid. If the foundation isn’t strong, you can’t build a stable structure. The bricks and mortar are made from the nutrients you put into it, while exercise reinforces the integrity of the structure. You need to make sure that; your body thus getting the correct balance of foods, in the right combo. and amounts.
Our brain, for example, is composed of 50% Essential Fatty Acids (EPA’s). When given the right nutrients and plenty of oxygen (from exercising), your brain’s “circuits” work effectively: Hormones are excreted in the correct amounts. Serotonin (your feel good hormones) is released and then absorbed into your receptor sites. We feel stable, balanced, and content. Yet, if we don’t eat foods high enough in these EFA’s daily, our brain begins to short circuit and soon we feel depressed, foggy, and lethargic. We then blame it on life, when in reality “our computer” has become bogged down and is desperate to be “defragmented”.
Our bodies need to have a perfect formula for optimal health-weight gain, irritable bowels, skin breakouts, heartburn, allergies, and headaches are just a few signals that we’re of balance. And heart disease, diabetes, and cancer- which are all on the rise in North America-are extreme warning signs that the body isn’t being nourished properly.

You’re Mind-

Your mind is merely the navigational tool for your spirit (your captain), who’s sailing the ship. Your mind was never intended to direct your life, yet for most of us that’s exactly what governs our choices and behaviors (and as we all know, our mind can be our greatest ally or our worst enemy. For most it is the later!
On this journey, you will come to understand and get better control over your thoughts. You’ll learn to silence that negative voice inside our head so that you can start to hear the whispers of your spirit again. You’ll learn how to identify self-defeating patterns raise your emotional baseline, and alter your self-limiting core beliefs.
Core beliefs are different from logical beliefs. After all how often do you logically know the right answer or give great advice to others, but can’t follow it yourself?
Core beliefs are your deepest, trusts views about yourself and life. They’re the number one indicator of your success, since your choices will always support your core beliefs not your logical beliefs.
For example, if you believe that exercising is hard, it will be... and even if you began to enjoy an exercise program, you’d end up quitting it...If You believe you will never lose weight, you won’t...not permanently! As silly as it sounds, your mind would rather be right than happy. You might not consciously realize it, but when you don’t truly believe that you’ll succeed, you’re defeated before you start. When many of us begin to see success happening, we sabotage it because it doesn’t line up with what our brain believes will inevitably happen. In other words, we ruin it before we can fail.
It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy: one that most people aren’t even aware they’re making! Perhaps you too truly believe that you’re like that helpless ship, being tossed around in the stormy seas and have no control over your destiny. You must know that it’s not true. Granted you can’t change the size of the ocean waves or the way the wind blows, but you can change the way you set your sails.
So what are your core beliefs? What do you believe about yourself? What do you believe about life?
Do you believe that you’re a beautiful, fit, strong, sexy, intelligent, spiritual, grounded, successful, kind, loving, insightful, inspired, and worthy woman or man?
If you want to know what your core beliefs are, all you have to do is look at the circumstances of your life today. It’s that simple. Simply look at what is showing up for you and that will tell you exactly what you believe.

Your core beliefs developed from the time you were little based on what you heard and saw from your parents, siblings, extended family, and teachers. They are primarily driven, however, from the messages you learned about being a woman from your mother or being a man from your father. You either rebelled or embraced their role, and you created a whole slew of beliefs based on your experiences(which is why they are never true)- they’re only perceptions of truth) You learned about men from watching your dad. You learned about money, intimacy, relationships, parenting, and even how to handle stressful situations or deal with confrontations from seeing what your parents did.
So, if your present circumstances aren’t what you want (this is why wanting isn’t enough), then it is time to do the work of shining light on your core beliefs and then rewriting your life script. Until you are honest with yourself, without judgment, or shame, you will continue to set yourself up to get exactly what you believe you’re worthy of.

Recognizing your “emotional baseline” is also a critical component to changing your self-defeating patterns.
Patterns that develop in our early years as we lean certain behaviors from our parents. Unknowingly, most of us re-create the same emotional atmosphere in which we grew up. We always regress to our learned behaviors during a crisis, and it is at these times that one can best judge a person.
Unsuccessful people lose focus, allowing negative emotions to take over, convincing themselves they didn’t really want it in the first place. They often don’t even realize that they’re self-sabotaging. I see this all the time with clients.
In addition, our body is designed to regulate all our systems with a certain zone. This is called homeostasis. And although we often think of this from a physiological perspective- for example- the way our body tries to maintain a constant blood sugar level- it also seeks to maintain an emotional homeostasis. If you grew up in an angry home with your emotions’ marinating” in anger, your body’s emotional baseline would be that of anger. In other words, over time your body would become addicted or comfortable with anger and dysfunction and as an adult your system would want to re-create that same emotional atmosphere even though your logical mind knows it’s not healthy.
Your past will predict your future unless you can change your self-limiting core beliefs and shift your emotional baseline to a higher, happier level.

Your soul or spirit-

Your soul is the mastermind of your life. It is inspired, joyous, accepting, passionate, courageous, and willing. It believes in you. It believes in life. It knows that what is will always find a way and that fighting what is is futile. It believes in your dreams, and it never gives up on you. Your soul is your gut instinct- your intuition. It is the gentle nudge you fell when something resonates as truth.
Your soul will be with you long after your boat has sunk and your navigational tools have rusted away. It is the true essence of who you are. It was created in love, sees the endless possibilities for your life, and always guides you with perfect precision. It is you’re most trusted and worthy advisor. All you have to do is allow it...

Sadly, few of us do. Instead we get in the way. We stop listening. We stop allowing. And soon we begin to believe all the negative messages we’ve heard over our lifetime. We let our mind take over. We become afraid, and that fear immobilizes us, so we try to numb it...run from it...escape it...Addictions. Eating disorders, bad habits, and depression begin to manifest.
We feel inadequate. We feel unsure. We stop trusting. What’s more, we’re not sure that we can trust ourselves. We’re not sure that we will make the best choices for our own lives- for our own bodies, health, joy, passion, and needs-let alone anyone else’s.

The truth is that we’re taught to override our own instincts from the time we’re little. We are taught to disregard our own innate wisdom, especially when it comes to anyone in authority: Teachers, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, even Corporate America and tell us what to do, how we should look and feel, and what to change about ourselves so that we’ll be happier. We listen without questioning, almost like sheep. Then one day, maybe 20,30,40,50 years later, we wake up, look in mirror, and barely recognize that person staring back. How did we lose ourselves? Why is our body failing us? Where did those dreams for our lives go? And who will save us??
Nuture yourself with life instead of food .

These 12 weeks are about finding the secrets within what is right for you and creating harmony of living, loving, moving, eating, giving and receiving that is unique to you.

It takes time and effort to travel deep. You must face your fears, discover your truths and learn to listen to your body. No matter what pace you’ll make substantial progress, only to be thrown a curveball that might temporarily set you back...Let the setbacks empower you instead of cripple you to move forward with resolution, and persistence... this will require patience, focus, and effort. It is the small and often seemingly insignificant daily decisions that will have the most impact on your future…So don’t think letting things slide is okay…it does add up..
Too many people say they want to achieve success, but don’t stay focused long enough to accomplish it.

They are great on the good days, but they give in on the hard days.
Yet if you were to spend a week with most successful person you know, you’d discover that it’s not that they necessarily work harder than average person:
  • It’s that they’re consistently focused on their objective.
  • Each day they do small significant things that will bring them success...
  • Their focus and daily choices determine where their lives are headed.
  • They don’t hope everything will work out-they stay focused until it does.
  • They always have a plan B.
We all know that plan is the diet we’re supposed to follow and are when everything is running smoothly in our lives. Plan A is exercising every day, eating perfectly, loving our lives, and having willpower. But what happens when Plan A fails...You need a Plan B...

Challenge is a part of all success, but it’s up to you to develop staying power and accountability for your reactions when challenged. Since you’re probably overwhelmed with life, the last thing you needed is a confusing, belittling program that leaves you feeling even worse about yourself when it fails.
Decide what you want. Form a plan of action. And stay focused until you achieve it...

Each week I will focus on different topic for self journey...

Get started with your journal today!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Exercising in the A.M.


Exercising in the A.M.
How getting up early gives you the advantage.

When the sun begins peaking over the horizon, you shouldn't be burying your head underneath a pillow, praying it will get dark and turn into night again. Instead, you should take advantage of the early hours to get in an hour of exercise. Why? Because the benefits far outweigh your desire to sleep in a bit.

Benefit #1: You'll Lose Weight
Exercising during any time of the day is proven to help you obtain and maintain a healthy weight. However, recent research hints that exercising in the morning gives your weight-loss goal an extra push. How's it do this? By improving your life a few ways all at once.

The first change is that working out during the first few hours of the day helps you sleep better, whereas working out in the evening can actually make it more difficult to sleep at night. Since healthy sleep habits assist your weight-loss goals, it only makes sense to want better sleep. Working out in the morning also helps your metabolism to get high early on in the day and stay there throughout your day. In addition, exercising early puts you in a healthy mindset from the moment you wake up, helping you make better decisions later in the day.

Benefit #2: You'll Stick with It
Another reason morning workouts benefit you is the ease with which you can stick with them. Whereas it can be difficult to find time during your busy day to squeeze in exercise, making exercise the first thing you do during the day ensures you get in some calorie-burning time no matter what the rest of the day may bring.

Think you may not have the strength to stick with an early morning exercise regimen? Remember that in addition to sleeping better, early exercising gives you increased energy and gets the blood pumping throughout your body. This helps you fire on all cylinders, whether you have a big meeting coming up or have to pull a double shift at the warehouse.

Benefit #3: You'll Get a Raise
As if an energy boost in the morning and increased metabolism weren't reason enough for working out in the morning, this early-morning fix-all may be just what your career needs. If you're skeptical, think about your attitude at work. Have you been down in the dumps? Too tired to go the extra mile?

Working out first thing in the morning may give you the boost you need to get past these issues. Once your boss recognizes your improved can-do attitude, your sudden willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty, and the infectious smile you carry everywhere you go, you may find yourself on the fast track to promotion. And to think-all of this just because you woke up a few minutes early for some running, weight lifting, bike riding, swimming, or calisthenics!

Creative Morning Routines
Getting your exercise every day is no easy task. Getting it in before the rest of your family is awake can be even more difficult-especially if you've not a morning person.

To make sure you get your fill of morning exercises, keep these tips in mind.

•Leave the car at home. Once you've eaten a healthy breakfast, hop on your bicycle or grab your running shoes and get to work the old-fashioned way by your own power. Just be sure to keep an extra change of clothes on hand so you don't have to wear your sweaty outfit all day.
•Do something fun. Everyone has different interests. To make sure you get up every morning and get in some exercise, make your routine fun. Whether you prefer kayaking, bike riding, or push-ups, implement this into your early morning routine and you'll have fun as you improve your health.
•Come to early morning boot camp. Wish there was a class at 6 a.m. ? We got it! Find some likeminded folks and work to become a teacher of the class. As a teacher, missing class isn't possible, so you'll be sure to get your routine in first thing in the morning, even when you'd rather stay in bed.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

4 Great Tips To Prevent Overeating At Any Meal


4 Great Tips To Prevent Overeating At Any Meal


These tips were from my partners at Prograde that I thought were interesting and wanted to pass it on to you...

we talk a lot about eating the proper nutrients

Eating more protein…

Eating much less processed carbs…
Staying away from sugar…

And all those things are important. But these 4 tips are really, really simple and very, very powerful.


Eating fewer calories is going to go a long way in helping you keep the fat off.

I especially love tip #4. Thanks again, Stefanie from the Prograde community!

Stefanie’s tips to avoid overeating:


1) drink a full glass of water before your meal
2) serve yourself on a side plate instead of dinner plate to control portions
3) wait 20 minutes before getting seconds.
4) use a blue colored plate (blue decreases appetite, red and yellow increase it)

Go to www.stafitgetprograde.com for great supplements and products!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Spinach & Egg White Wrap



This wrap is delicious for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It's ready in a flash, tastes amazing, and is filled with lean protein, veggies and whole sprouted grains. Try it today, but don't be surprised if you get hooked!
Servings: 2

Here's what you need:

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup tomato, finely chopped
2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
1 cup egg whites
dash of salt and pepper
2 sprouted grain tortillas
2 Tablespoons pesto (purchase it pre-made, or combine 1/2 cup walnuts, 2 cups basil leaves, 2 cloves garlic, 1/4 cup olive oil, and 1 Tablespoon lemon juice in a food processor and blend until it becomes a paste.)

Directions Spread a tablespoon of pesto over each tortilla and set aside.
In medium sized skillet warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until golden. Add the tomato and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until it is soft and wilted. Remove the veggies from skillet, set aside in a bowl.
Pour the egg whites into the skillet, season with salt and pepper. Cook until the egg is no longer runny.
Arrange half of the egg whites in a line down the center of each tortilla. Top with half of the veggies and then fold the ends up and wrap like a burrito.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 288 calories, 10g fat, 28g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, and 21g protein.


Are You Powerless to Holiday Pounds?




The season of deck-your-waist-with-extra-pounds is officially here.

So what are you going to do about it?

Will you join the masses who faithfully gain 5 pounds between November and January?

Or will you do something different this year?

It is entirely possible to avoid the dreaded holiday chub by following this simple strategy:

All About Power
To begin, it's important that you approach your goal from a place of I can rather than I can't.

Most diet and weight loss plans begin by outlining everything that you can't eat. You can't enjoy the buffet at your office holiday party. You can't taste the fudge that your aunt Frances made. You can't partake in the seasonal coffee drinks. You can't, you can't, you can't.

It shouldn't be surprising when the diet only last a few days before your inner rebel breaks out and defies all the rules by mowing through an entire plate of Christmas cookies in one sitting.

When you begin from a place of can't, you forfeit all of the power.

On the other hand, when you approach your goal from a place of I can, the power swings back into your favor. Use these 3 steps to re-gain your power:

Focus on positive action.
Rather than obsess over what you can't eat this holiday season, I want you to take the positive action of exercising into your own hands. Every time that you complete a workout feel the surge of empowerment that comes with the accomplishment.


Schedule positive action.
The next step is to concretely schedule your workout sessions. I advise that you exercise even more during the holiday season than normal, since you will be taking in more calories. If you normally exercise 3 times each week for 30 minutes, then plan to exercise 5 times each week for 45 minutes.


Reward yourself for positive action.
At the end of each week take the time to reward yourself for successfully completing each scheduled workout. Don't use food as a reward, since you'll be taking in extra calories as it is. A massage, a new outfit, a leisurely hour spent at a coffee shop, or even a well deserved nap are all great ways to reward yourself.
What You Believe
The people who won't gain any weight this holiday season already know it. How? They've decided not to gain weight, and they believe it.

Do you believe that you won't gain weight this year? Or are your past failures keeping you less than confident?

Let's create a strong belief that you won't be powerless to holiday pounds.

In his book, Awaken the Giant Within, Anthony Robbins explains 4 steps needed to create a belief:

Step One: Identify the basic belief. I won't gain weight this holiday season.

Step Two: Reinforce your belief by adding new and more powerful references. This means focusing on the reasons that you don't want to gain the weight. Get out a sheet of paper and list all of the cons to you gaining an extra 5 or 10 pounds over the holidays. Spend a lot of time on this step. Reiterate to yourself over and over why you don't want to gain the weight.

Step Three: Find a triggering event, or create one of your own. Disturb yourself. Try on your bathing suit, or better yet go out and try on bathing suits in dressing rooms with that awful lighting. Try on your skinny jeans. Try on last year's cocktail dress. Try on that outfit at the back of your closet that you still can't fit into.

Step Four: Take action. Get started on your exercise program – right now. Taking action is the most important step, and the most rewarding.

Call or email me right now, I'll help you get started on an exercise program and guide you step-by-step all the way to success. Who knows? I may even get you to your New Year's Resolution before January even starts.

Give yourself the power to overcome holiday pounds – get started

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Do You Want to Get Rid of Cellulite?


The Best Way To Beat Cellulite


I wanted to past this article on to my readers to help explain what cellulite is and how to minimize it!


By Cassandra Forsythe-Pribanic, PhD, RD




Cottage cheese Orange Peel Rice Pudding


Even though this sounds like it, I’m not talking about food here. These are just some of the names given to an undesirable skin condition known as cellulite that plagues the backsides and tummies of women all over the world.





Sure, some men are affected by it, but for the most part, women’s biggest fear about wearing a bikini in the summer is the dimply appearance of her butt and thighs or mid-section. And, women don’t even have to be considered “chubby” or “fat” to have cellulite in the most awkward of places. Even our beloved, so-called perfectly thin actresses have cellulite that they work incredibly hard to hide.

But why is it that women are mostly stricken with mattress-like backsides and how do we prevent it or minimize its appearance?

What is cellulite?

Cellulite consists of several alterations in your skins normal structure, coupled with circulation issues (fatty areas of cellulite tend to have low blood flow and are cold to the touch), and changes with the fat cells themselves.

If you have cellulite, there isn’t much you can do to abolish it, but you can definitely reduce it’s appearance.

Even Babies Have Cellulite

My first realization about cellulite came when I noticed my 7-month old daughter had a cottage cheese-like appearance to her cute little butt cheeks when they were slightly squished.

At first I was upset – why does she have cellulite? How is this possible? But then I realized my own battles with cellulite were partially out of my control. Females, by virtue of our hormonal environment and body structure are stricken with cellulite from the very beginning.

Normal, healthy, fatty tissue development (growth of new fat cells, not fat cell size) begins in the womb and continues until a child is 18 months old. It then picks up again during puberty. In today’s society, with all the junk food and excessive calories, some children are in a constant state of fat cell growth and potentially new fat cells.

Fatty tissue near the skin consists of two layers separated by a facial layer. The more external layer is called the areolar layer, which is formed by globular and large fat cells (adipocytes) arranged vertically; here the blood vessels feeding the fat cells are numerous and fragile. The deeper layer is called the lamellar layer and the cells are fusiform, smaller and arranged horizontally; the vessels here are larger. The second layer increases in thickness when a person gains weight, mainly due to the increase in fat cell volume which presses against the outer, areolar layer, making it more pronounced.




In women, the outer areolar layer is thicker and the skin covering it is usually thinner which is the case right from birth (and explains my daughters dimply butt cheeks). As a woman ages and gains more body fat from an increase in the inner lamellar layer, it makes the fat cells in the areolar layer more visible.

Female hormones can be evil

When women start to hit puberty, the battle with thigh cellulite commences. The femoral region of a woman (the back of the upper thigh) is very responsive to her very unique hormonal profile.

Estrogen increases the response of thigh fat cells to anti-lipolytic alpha receptors (preventing fat breakdown and loss) and stimulates an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL) that stimulates fat growth. This can occur in the gluteal region and abdomen as well, but is usually localized to the back of the legs.

Prolactin (the breast-feeding hormone) is another hormone that makes cellulite more visible because it increases water retention in the fatty tissue, which makes each cell look larger and more lumpy.

So, most women are going to have some issues with cellulite, just because they are women.

Insulin make cellulite more visible

One of the greatest influences on cellulite appearance is the blood glucose-regulating hormone insulin. Whenever you eat carbohydrate, your body releases insulin to manage the influx of glucose (from carbs) into your bloodstream. In an ideal world, your muscle cells recognize this insulin and invite the glucose into muscle cells to be used for energy or stored for later use (as glycogen).

However, in the case of most sedentary people, insulin sends the carbs to fat cells to be turned into fatty acids and stored as triglycerides (called lipogenesis). This makes fat cells in the lamellar layer bigger, causing fat cells in the areolar layer to be squished out and more visible.




Unless a person is a constant exerciser or exercises incredibly hard every day, high carb diets will cause your body to produce more fat. Insulin also stops your body from using fat as fuel and can cause your body to store more water, pushing cellulite out for the world to see.

Change your lifestyle, smooth out cellulite

Of all the things under our control with respect to cellulite, there are two major things we can change to minimize its appearance. With cellulite, you either have it, or you don’t (lucky girl!), but if you have it, you can make it look less pronounced despite never really being able to get rid of it.

First and foremost – get off your butt! Consistent physical activity (no, not armchair football) decreases your body’s insulin levels naturally and makes your muscle cells more receptive to burning up carbs and fats for energy.

Daily exercise also increases muscle mass, which helps decrease body fat. It increases circulation in your lower extremities, providing more blood to thigh fat cells and enabling them to be used as a energy source. Finally, it improves rigidity of your tendons and muscles, making fatty areas seem smaller and less pronounced.

You’ve got to think: all that sitting on your behind, day in and day out, does not do much for improving blood flow to your thighs or making your butt look any smaller. So, get up and move as much as you can -- every day. Even consider investing in a stand-up desk, so your butt can get a break.




Second - eliminate simple carbs, sodium, alcohol and manufactured fats from your diet.

You now know carbs are the major promoters of insulin, but not all carbs are bad and timing is important. High-fiber carbs from non-starchy vegetables (like greens and colorful veggies) produce the lease amount of insulin and some starchy veggies (like sweet potato, squash and peas) produce a bit more insulin, but their high fiber content is important. Fiber helps keep your body regular (along with adequate water intake) which improves blood flow in your lower limbs.

Simple carbs, like those used in Prograde Workout, and even fruit carbs are used best by your body after exercise, and sometimes before. At this time, your muscles are primed to use that insulin for repair and re-growth instead of for fat storage.

High sodium, processed foods, like those microwave lunches, have to be packed with sodium to prevent spoilage. This sodium causes water retention and makes cellulite look worse than it is. On the same note, watch out for sodium in canned foods (soups, fish) and focus on fresh, non-processed items as often as possible. Sauces, like soy sauce and teriyaki are also a no-no as they can be both high in sodium and simple carbs.







Alcohol is also an issue – this chemical acts just like insulin, causing your body to store fat and create fat and preventing it from using it for energy. Light beer is not going to help you cause at all. Just limit or stay away from alcohol all the time and your fat cells will be smaller and you’ll be happier.

Manufactured fats, such as those found in most boxed and packaged foods are incredibly problematic. First, the poor quality of these fats, which can be trans fats or just excessive polyunsaturated fats, loved to be stored by the body. They also increase inflammation, which leads to water retention and decreased fat breakdown. Finally, they’re often associated with high simple carb foods (cake anyone?)







The best diet to reduce the appearance of cellulite is one that contains high quality, whole-food proteins that are not laced with preservatives, sodium, and sugar (foods like organic beef and chicken, organic eggs and purified whey proteins), plenty of colorful vegetables and fruits to provide fiber, antioxidants and potassium to balance sodium, and plentiful whole food fats, especially those high in unsaturated fats like avocados, egg yolks, fish, fish oil and krill oils, and olives and olive oil.

Don’t believe the hype- just do what Mother Nature told you to do

Everyday you’re going to be bombarded with some product, or some new fancy diet that proclaims to be the terminator of all cellulite, but don’t buy into those claims.

Fighting the dimply look of cellulite isn’t really that hard – you just need to eat real food, food that Mother Nature gave us, and exercise or move your body every day.

Or, pick the right parents and ask for thick skin. But, Iif it was that easy, the world wouldn’t be so interesting.




Click The Button Below To Discover What's On Sale This Week at my partners at Prograde nutrition store!

www.stafit.getprograde.com






References

Cellulite: a review. Rossi AB and Vergnanini AL. JEADV (2000) 14: 251-262

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Don't be a Victim of Seasonal Weight Gain




Fall is definitely in the air: leaves are falling, as are the temperatures, and our motivation to get in shape or stay in shape may be waning as we opt toward sleeping in and eating comfort food.

If you're prone to seasonal weight gain, changes in mood and motivation levels, fall is the perfect time to give yourself a pick-me-up in the form of fun, exhilarating exercise. If you start your day with coffee and a donut and get discouraged by your mid-morning energy crash (and mid-winter weight gain), you'll be amazed by the difference in the way you feel when you engage in regular exercise and are vigilant about your food choices.Here are a few foods you might add to the diet as they may help to promote serotonin production in the body:

Bananas, brown rice, cottage cheese,
almonds, walnuts, chicken, and figs.



According to the experts at Web MD, up to 3% of the U.S. population may suffer from “winter depression” or “Seasonal Affective Disorder” (SAD), and those who suffer from year-round depression often find their symptoms become worse when the days are shorter during the winter months.

While many sufferers may seek medical help to deal with their symptoms, self-treatment may be as simple as starting or maintaining a sensible diet and exercise program.

SAD sufferers often crave carbohydrates as a way to cope. But sugary sweets provide a quick, temporary fix that may also pack on the pounds. A sensible, balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables and proteins can help alleviate cravings, and choosing complex carbohydrate foods such as whole grains and starchy vegetables is a better option than candy or caffeine.

Another great way to head off the blues is to exercise, and working out with a friend helps keep you from “cocooning” and avoiding others – another symptom of SAD. Plus, when you have a workout partner, they'll hold you accountable and you'll be less likely to skip a day.

Physical activity can help alleviate symptoms of depression, according to staff reports from the Mayo Clinic. Just a 30-minute walk or a planned workout at the gym can relieve stress, and may leave you happier and more relaxed than those who don't participate in an exercise regimen.

Get a jump-start on your winter workouts by starting your fitness routine today. Just think, you'll be that much more prepared for your 2011 summer swimsuit body as well!

Join us for a Free week Trial and beat the Blues and the Bulge!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Herb-Coated Halibut with Zucchini and Whole Wheat Couscous













Not only is this meal delicious, it's also incredibly healthy. A tangy herb paste coats both the fish and zucchini, which roast on the same pan. The entire meal is ready in 30 minutes – perfect for busy weekday dinners.





Servings: 4




Here's what you need:

•6 scallions, chopped
•1 cup packed fresh cilantro
•1/2 cup packed fresh mint
•3 Tablespoons olive oil
•1 Tablespoon chopped, peeled fresh ginger
•3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
•Salt and pepper to taste
•1 zucchini, cut into spears
•4 skinless fillets firm white fish
•1 cup dry whole-wheat couscous



1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Throw the scallions, cilantro, mint, oil, ginger, coriander and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a food processor and pulse until a coarse paste forms. Season with pepper.



2.Toss zucchini with 3 tablespoons herb paste in a bowl. Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 5 minutes.



3.Rub remaining herb paste onto both sides of fish fillets. Push zucchini to edges of baking sheet, and arrange fish in center, leaving about 1/2 inch between each fillet. Roast until fish is opaque and semi-firm to the touch, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare directions. Serve fish and zucchini over couscous.


Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 354 calories, 10g fat, 29g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, and 32g protein.

Are you in a Slump?

The Power of Change



Do you wish you could change something about your life right now?

I'm here to argue that change can happen in an instant.

I know this goes against popular thought. Most people believe that change has to be worked at for months or even years. We expect to try and fail numerous times before we ultimately give up or succeed.

How many people do you know who struggle with their weight? They want to make a healthy change by getting in shape, but the change never seems to take hold.

Is there something in your life that you want to change? Do you have weight to lose? Do you have high blood pressure? Do you have a pair of pants that you wish you could fit into?

What is keeping you from making a positive change in your life?

According to professional speaker and author, Anthony Robbins, it's the getting ready to change that takes time. In the end there's a single instant when the change occurs. Robbins goes on to outline three specific beliefs that you must have in order to instantly create a lasting change.

Belief #1: Something must change. Do you sort of want to get into shape, or do you absolutely have to lose the weight? Does dropping a few pounds sound nice, or is living another day in your current body unbearable? In order to make a lasting change you must be convinced that the time has come.

Belief #2: I must change it.

It is vital that you take full responsibility in making the change. Sure, others may assist you, but in the end you are the one who is going to make it happen. You have to need this change enough to make it your personal mission—no one else will do it for you.

Belief #3: I can change it.

Don't let past failures get in your way. The truth is that you do amazing things when you put your mind to it. Believe that you are capable of losing weight or making any other positive change in your life.

Why do most people fail to make lasting change? They leave it up to willpower. This works for awhile, but you'll always revert back to what's comfortable. The solution?

Change what you're comfortable with. Get out of your comfort zone...conqueror it...it will improve your self confidence...and make you a better person....

You've probably heard that humans are motivated by two things: 1) to avoid pain and 2) to gain pleasure. When you want to change a behavior pattern the key is to associate pain with the behavior that you don't want and pleasure with the behavior that you do want.

You know that you want to lose weight and that to do so you need to quit eating comfort food late at night. You also know that you need to start exercising on a regular basis. Up until this point your brain is trained to associate pleasure with eating comfort food late at night and to associate pain with exercise.

It's time to retrain your brain to feel good about exercise and to feel bad about eating late at night. Think about all of the negative things about being overweight and connect these unpleasant thoughts to your late night snack. Now think about all of the wonderful things about being in shape and connect these pleasant thoughts to exercise.

You are capable of making a big change in your life. Start by calling or emailing me for your no obligation fitness consultation. Let's reach your potential together!

Remember, change can happen in an instant.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Booty Building Secrets

Booty Building Secrets
Seems like everyone has been asking how to shape up their behind lately, so I've decided to let you in on a few of my closely-guarded booty-building secrets.

Most of my clients have one of the following things to say about their bum: 1) Help! My bum is too big; 2) Help! My bum is too saggy; or 3) Help! My bum is too flat.

Now let's tackle each of these challenges with solutions that will give you the best booty ever!

I. Help! My bum is too big.
If you are suffering from an over sized behind then do the following 3 fat-blasting workouts to reduce, tighten and shape your bum.

Fat-Blaster #1: Run

Running is a great way to burn off extra body fat while developing strong glutes. Follow these 4 tips to target your glutes while running:

1.To target your glutes focus on extending your hips and keeping your chest lifted.
2.Roll all the way forward onto your toes with each step, in order to engage more of your glutes.
3.Run up hills, stairs, or on the treadmill at an incline.
4.Run on a sandy beach or gravel path – the uneven surface forces you to work harder to stabilize your lower body.
Fat-Blaster #2: Elliptical

The elliptical works well for streamlining your behind – but only when used properly. Follow these 4 tips to get the most from your elliptical workout:

1.Posture matters. Don't drape your upper body over the front of the elliptical machine – this will bring the focus to your quads and lower back instead of your glutes. Instead keep your back straight and posture good.
2.Put the incline of your machine higher than seven percent. This will ensure that the emphasis is on your glutes instead of your quads.
3.Push down with your heels with each stride. Also sink down into a squat for 30 second intervals while striding.
4.Let go of the handles. This will force your core to stabilize you.
Fat-Blaster #3: Swim

Swimming laps is a sure way to burn tons of calories. Follow these 4 tips to get the most from your time in the pool:

1.Start each lap with an explosive push from the wall. Place the soles of your feet flat against the side of the pool, bend your knees and explode forward with your legs.
2.Use flippers. Sounds silly, but try a few laps with a kickboard and flippers and you'll quickly feel the intense emphasis on your glutes.
3.Vary your kick. Go from flutter to froggy kicks to target all of your glutes.
4.Try some in-water squat jumps: stand in chest-level water with feet shoulder width apart, toes turned out. Bend your knees and lower your hips down then explode upward, pushing through your heels.
II. Help! My bum is too saggy.
The solution to a saggy bottom is to target your glutes. Try the following 3 bum-lifting exercises at home – these require no equipment.

Bum-Lifting Exercise #1: Hyperextension with leg curl
Lie facedown on the floor with your arms extended above your head and knees together. Bend your knees and curl your heels toward your glutes, contracting your glutes. Lower your feet back toward the floor, raise your chest and shoulders up and hold for one count before returning to the start position. Do 15 repetitions.

Bum-Lifting Exercise #2: Plank pull
Get into a plank position with hands directly under your shoulders and feet spaced shoulder width apart. Contract your core, lift your left leg with flexed foot, then raise your heel up in a quick motion for 15 reps. Keep your core contracted throughout the exercise and back flat. Repeat with right leg.

Bum-Lifting Exercise #3: Side-lying bicycle
Lie on your right side with your elbow directly under your shoulder and legs stacked on top of each other. Bend your right knee back slightly. Lift your left leg about 6 inches into the air, then draw if forward to a 90 degree angle, keeping your foot flexed. Swing your leg back, pointing your toe and extending your lower back. Do 15 repetitions and then repeat with right leg.

III. Help! My bum is too flat.
In order to build a shapely behind you'll need to head to the gym. The following 3 booty-building exercises will give your bum a serious shape-changing workout.

Booty-Building Exercise #1: Dumbbell Squat
Place your feet wider than shoulder width apart, and turn toes out. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides. Inhale as you squat down, keeping your back straight and tummy pulled in. Exhale as you press up through your heels and return to a standing position. Do 15 repetitions.

Booty-Building Exercise #2: Dumbbell Lunge
Stand with feet together and a dumbbell in each hand at your sides. Inhale as you lunge forward, keeping your lunging knee directly over your ankle. Exhale as you push off with your lunging heel, and return to the starting position. Do 15 repetitions and repeat on the other leg.

Booty-Building Exercise #3: Straight-legged Deadlift
Stand with feet shoulder width apart, a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing your thighs. Inhale as you bend forward at the hips, keeping your back flat. Lower the dumbbells down until you feel a pull in your hamstrings. Keep the dumbbells close to your legs as you exhale and straighten your legs, focusing on contracting your glutes. Do 15 repetitions.

Want to get your best booty as quickly as possible? Call or email me now to get started on a unique fitness program that will get you on the fast track to your best booty ever.

Woodstock's Fit Body Bootcamper Shares Her Story




I have been a “Couch Potato” almost my entire life. Being a designer and living in a big city with my laidback personality, exercising was just not my thing…But during the last couple years, my weight has risen above healthy guidelines and my cholesterol has gone up above normal. Even when I tried eating pretty healthy diet, things were not changing much… The idea of exercising had been brought to me by my family and doctor. I tried to work on an elliptical and the bow flex in my home. But it was just a chore, a duty and responsibility…May this year, I decided to give Stacy’s Fitness Boot camp a try, partly out of curiosity, partly I was looking for something that might break through the chore concept – AND, it did! After just two weeks of camp, I decided that I love this program and I am going to stay with it!
Let’s be honest, it was not easy when I first started (still not), I told Stacy and the rest of our team that my entire body hurt so much that even my hair was hurting… Stacy keeps encouraging me and keeps pushing me as far as I can go. She provides great advice on my diet and my workout routines even outside of class. Each class was a blast to me: the bouncy gym floor, the energetic music and the artistically chosen workout combinations… The classes have slowly changed my posture, my body tone (I could do “ZERO” push up before I join the camp, now I can do almost 15 before I fall on my face). My back, arms and legs are much stronger and my energy level has been boosted. Whenever I feel down, I come to the camp and workout. Exercising is not a chore anymore, it is therapy to my body and mind.
During the classes, I have met different types of team members, some are not as strong like me, some are athletic like Stacy. We have different motivations for coming to work out together. But we have the same goal: to be healthy and stronger. We sweat together, we laugh together, we encourage each other and share great ideas. We are a team and we are friends. Stacy carries a great leadership in her, she works with us, she pushes us, she teases us, she laughs with us, but she NEVER lets us slowdown! …
By working out with this great group of people and Stacy, I have learned that staying healthy and strong is not a short term solution, goal, or just a responsibility; it is a type of life style we are choosing to live. When you are healthy and stronger, you have better attitude towards life and life will be good back to you. Stacy’s Fitness bootcamp has helped me to shift my life style to a higher level. I am proud to be part of it and I am committed to this life style!

Yan Hughes
Designer / Owner of 5E Web Design Studio

Friday, September 3, 2010

My Bootcamp Experience & My New Attitude




















FRANKIE, T. AGE 55
HOW EXERCISE GAVE ME A NEW OUTLOOK ON LIFE!
In August of 2009 I signed up for Stacy Ward's Fit
Body Boot Camp. I have no idea why. Yes, I was
over weight but I had been for years and yes, I was
out of shape but I always had been. Exercise for me
consisted of shopping, cleaning and occasional
walks.
Once again, I was ready to try and do something that
would help me lose my extra weight and become
physically fit. I was excited and hopeful to try this.
Previously I had joined gyms, exercised in water and
even hired a personal trainer and none of these
endeavors worked for me. After a few weeks or
months I would quit. Upon quitting I would tell
myself various lies such as "it doesn't really
matter" , "I look alright" , "I can't afford it" , or
"it takes up too much time."
My first week of boot camp was humbling. After the
third day, I came home and cried. No longer could I
escape the fact that I had used and abused my body
for several years. The warm ups alone wore me out
and after one session felt sick, I Spiritually recognized
that I had not been a good steward of the
body God gave me and that became my motivation
to continue.
Continuing was a challenge. I became aware of how
uncomfortable I was moving my body. All the jiggling
and bouncing of flesh embarrassed me. My inability
to complete or even do some of the exercises
embarrassed me. How I looked embarrassed me.
But I continued to remember why I was doing this;
To honor God, not myself.
My eating became more intentional and appropriate.
I needed food to keep me fueled not to medicate
me, soothe me or fill me up. I continued to battle
the negative self talk in my head that went
something like this; "You can't do this", "You are
not an athlete", "You look ridiculous" or my all time
favorite "This is too hard." I had to seriously and
deliberately change my thinking. A friend gave me
this advice, "the body will do whatever the mind
tells it to do." I recited this often in class.
Fit Body Boot Camp, along with Stacy's online
counseling and food log has facilitated me in losing
35 pounds thus far. More importantly, my workouts
at boot camp enabled me to go on a weeklong
mission trip in hot and humid Honduras this past
June. During this trip we mixed and laid concrete
floors, built chimneys, and walked for miles to
various home sites. I could not have been part of this
a year earlier. It would have been too physically
demanding for me. To be able to participate was a dream
come true.
The greatest benefit to me from boot camp has been
how it has reversed my thinking. I see myself as a
capable woman who is meant to continue her
personal growth so she can live the life God intended
her to live. I am very excited to see what the next
30 years bring. For that reason, I am continuing on in
boot camp and now my husband has joined. Next
month I am returning to Honduras on another mission
trip.
Additionally, boot camp has worked for me because I never
get bored. The routines are always different and I
hever know what Stacy has planned. It has also
worked because I have learned to pace myself and
not compete with anyone else in the class. If
competition motivates you, there are plenty of
opportunities in class to compete, it's just not in my
nature. I love working out in the facility we use
because the floors are cushioned and it's easy on my
joints. None of these factors were a part of -my
previous exercise attempts.
Fit Body Bootcamp meets you wherever you are;
mentally, physically or emotionally. Stacy Ward's
knowledge of exercise science and nutrition is
endless. Her commitment and excellence in what
she does is-apparent. Believe me, whether you are
an advanced athlete or a weary Mom, this program
will work for you. Stacy will work for you. The
question remains, will YOU work for yourself

Monday, August 23, 2010

Setting Goals & Staying Focused

Setting Goals & Staying Focused
By Beth H : Woodstock's Fit Body Bootcamper

I've always considered myself fairly healthy. While never an “exercise junkie,” I've always been active and aware of my diet – I rarely eat meat and try to watch what I eat.

In my teens and 20s, during the Flashdance! Generation, high-impact, knee-pounding exercise was all the rage... complete with cropped t-shirt, headband and matching scrunchie and leg-warmers. (What were we THINKING?)

In my 30s, with two small children running around, toddler-chasing was my primary form of “exercise,” although I'd load the kids up in the stroller a few nights each week and tackle the hills in my subdivision. Charity walks were my big thing during that time as well, and I felt good to walk-run a 5k and claim my t-shirt at the finish line.

At 40 I realized that the health issues I'd started developing – stress, hypertension, stiff joints and insomnia – weren't necessarily age-related. They were a direct result of my lack of a regular exercise regimen. I didn't want the “middle-age spread,” which I noticed with alarming regularity in my peer group in the carpool line or at the grocery store. I also realized that my clothing size had slowly crept upward and I was now wearing double-digits in pants... not good!

So I started walking regularly. My dog loved it, I met the neighbors and I started feeling better about myself. But my weight wasn't changing and my waist size wouldn't budge. I accepted that I was middle-aged and that I had attained a new “set-point.” (Amazing what we tell ourselves!)

I was at a women's networking event one evening and won a month's trial of a new fitness regimen that I'd been hearing so much about: FitBody Boot Camp. This Boot Camp was indoors! I thought, “I can do anything for a month,” and I designated the next 30 days as my fitness do-or-die time, setting the alarm for 5:15 a.m. and commuting to the gymnastics facility to work out with my new peer group.

Although the workouts were very difficult at first, I was hooked. After just a week, I felt stronger than I had in a very long time, and inches were coming off. I hadn't lost an ounce of weight, but I was standing up straighter, I had more energy and I was sleeping better. So I decided to continue.

After two months, I had finally lost weight – more than 11 pounds! And my body looked good. My double-digit clothing was now too big, and I retrieved the old Size 8's from the back of my closet.

In March, I ran another 5k – and this time I ran the whole time! So I set my sights on a huge goal: running the Peachtree Road Race.

Over the next several months, I participated in FitBody Boot Camp three or four (sometimes five) days each week, and felt a huge difference in my overall wellness. My blood pressure dropped to what it was prior to my having kids and I had lost nearly 20 pounds; I felt calmer, experienced less stiffness and slept better than I had in years! And by the time 5:15 rolled around each day, I was “raring to go!”

I turned 44 on the 4th of July, and I gave myself the most incredible gift: running my first Peachtree Road Race. What a party! I told myself that I would just run the best I could, walk if I had to up the hills (never stop running when you're going downhill! It's a personal rule!) and make it to the finish line smiling. Well, I ran the whole 6.2 – and I was smiling as I crossed the finish line!

Nothing can compare to attaining a goal like that. The pride, the energy, the congratulations from family and friends! I'm recruiting folks to run with me next year – and I'm grateful for the group of us from FitBody Boot Camp-Woodstock who ran together this year.

My goal when I started my fitness regimen was to increase my stamina enough to run a 5k, then the Peachtree. My new goal is to be as healthy and active in my 60s and 70s as I am today. I'm laying the groundwork now, and I realize that a daily workout commitment is key to helping me attain my goals.

I know folks who work out at home, others who go to a big-box gym, and some who prefer to do like I do and attend Boot Camp or work out in a small group or with a personal trainer (Stacy does that too, by the way!). Whatever your preference, make sure it's something you enjoy. You'll experience better results and come up with fewer excuses!

Beth H.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mean & Clean Burrito

Mean & Clean Burrito
Here's a healthy burrito recipe to sink your teeth into. Whole grains, lean protein and crunchy veggies make this a recipe that you'll come back to time and again. Serve with a side of your favorite salsa.
Servings: 1

Here's what you need...

•1 sprouted grain, flourless tortilla
•1 Tablespoon hummus
•1/3 cup cooked brown rice
•1/4 cup cooked black beans
•1/2 cup cooked chicken, chopped (or baked tofu)
•2 Tablespoons fresh corn kernels
•2 Tablespoons chopped cucumber
•1/4 cup shredded arugula
•3 cherry tomatoes, chopped
1.Warm the tortilla in a dry skillet. Spread the hummus evenly over the tortilla.
2.Top the tortilla with rice, beans, chicken and veggies.
3.Fold the two sides of the tortilla in over the filling, then flip up the bottom edge and roll tightly.
Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 380 calories, 7.8g fat, 45g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, and 31g protein.

Burn Fat Faster

Tactics for Faster Results
Have you ever been frustrated over a lack of results from your workout routine?

If so, you are in good company. Even the most seasoned athletes experience times when their results plateau.

When you continue to put in the same effort day after day with little or no results it is safe to say that you've hit your own fitness plateau.

Your body adapts quickly to any repetitive routine. The definition of 'insanity' is to do the same thing over and over while expecting different results. This holds true for your workouts. When your results stop then it's time to do something new.

I have good news - the following 4 tactics are guaranteed to crank your workouts up to the next level and to deliver the fast results you want.

Tactic #1: Focus on Negatives

Each time that you do a weight lifting repetition you are utilizing three types of strength. These are:

1.Positive strength: the motion of lifting the weight.
2.Static strength: holding weight in a contracted position.
3.Negative strength: the motion of lowering the weight.
Most people completely miss the benefit of the negative in each repetition by allowing the weight to drop quickly with little control. It is understood that the negative portion of a repetition is just as important as the positive portion, and possibly more important.

Focus on the negative portion of each repetition by lowering the weight very slowly. Concentrate on the negative contraction, and make each repetition count.

If you are advanced, then use a training partner to assist you in moving heavier-than-normal weight into a contracted position, then lower it very slowly.

Another way to utilize negative repetitions on a machine is to lift the weight using two limbs but then lower it with just one. For example, use both legs to lift the weight on a leg extension machine, but then lower it back down slowly using only one leg.

Tactic #2: Do a Drop Set

Drop sets have long been used to fight off exercise plateaus. This technique is great for adding muscle strength, endurance and for increasing the cardiovascular benefit of your workout – resulting in more fat burn.

Here, in a nutshell, is how to do a drop set: When you perform an exercise to exhaustion, don't stop there. Drop the weight by 80% and do another set.

You could take it a step further by dropping the weight twice, making it a double drop. Or drop the weight three times for a descending drop set.

Use this technique only once or twice per workout, on the final set of the exercise.

Tactic #3: Modify the Exercise

There are certain exercises that are considered 'staples' in the gym.

The squat. The lunge. The chest press. The shoulder press. The bicep curl. You get the idea…

While you shouldn't throw these exercises out the window, find creative ways to modify the familiar motion in order to challenge your muscles. Try these exercise modifications:

•Squat on a Bosu ball or balance board.
•Place a weighted bar across your shoulders and do walking lunges.
•Use an exercise ball for chest presses instead of the bench.
•Do a full squat between each repetition of shoulder presses.
•Do a shoulder press between each repetition of bicep curls.
Tactic #4: Use Active Rest to turn each workout into High Intensity Interval Training

Every minute of your workout is an opportunity to increase intensity and to burn more fat. Don't waste precious minutes with long rest periods between exercises.

While it is important to catch your breath if you feel winded, most of the time you would benefit more from an active rest than a passive one. Perform one of the following activities for 30 seconds between exercises and turn your regular workout into High Intensity Interval Training.

•High Knees with Alternating Punches: Alternately bring each knee high to your chest in a quick jumping movement while alternating forward punches at shoulder level.
•Burpees: Start in a sanding position and bend at the waist. Once your hands hit the floor, push your entire body back, extending your legs until they're straight and you're in the push-up position. Go down for a push-up, and when you push yourself up, jump slightly to bring your feet back near your hands. Finally, jump in the air with your arms fully extended over your head.
•Side-to-Side Jumps on Bench: Stand on one side of an exercise bench. Place the foot closest up onto the bench, jump up and switch feet, then land on the opposite side of the bench.
•Mountain Climbers: Place your hands wider than shoulder-width apart on the ground in a push-up position. Bring one knee to your chest and then back to the starting position, alternate each leg quickly.
•Side-to-Side Ab Twists: With feet close together, jump and twist your legs left to right – holding your abs tight. Keep a bend in your knees and swing your upper arms with each twist.
•Jump Lunges with Pop Squat: Start in a lunge position, lunge down then quickly jump up, switching your leg position in midair, land in an opposite leg lunge. Once you've done both legs, jump straight into a squat.
•Medicine Ball Squat Jumps: With feet wider than shoulder-width apart hold a medicine ball at chest level. Squat down until your knees are at a 90 degree angle. Explosively jump up, raising the medicine ball straight over your head.
If you'd like a sure-fire way to break through your fitness plateau and to melt away unwanted fat, then contact me for a fitness consultation.

Call or email today – I look forward to hearing from you.