Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Ultimate Green Smoothie

Green Smoothies are very trendy right now in fitness circles. Even people who know next to nothing about health and fitness are hopping on the green smoothie band wagon, so I thought I would put my two cents in with my "salad" smoothie that I make from time to time.

Your smoothie should be 3 parts greens (veggies) and 1 part fruits. This, in my opinion, is where most people seem to go wrong. Two spinach leaves does not equal a serving of veggies!
Basically I just go to my fridge and see what salad things I have. I try to use the lettuce and spinach that is starting to look a bit... yucky, then I throw in a few cucumbers, kale, maybe even some carrot juice (warning, this will turn your green smoothie... kind of brown)
Just using what I had in the fridge, Romain lettuce, baby spinach, cucumbers, and broccoli. I only used the stalk of the broccoli, and steamed the heads for dinner that night.  Like I said you can use any greens you have in your fridge. 

Chop things up then toss them in the blender (they should fill the blender nearly to the top) adding a cup or so of water. You can always add more later if you need to.

Blend it all up and you will have some green juice. I think it smells fresh and healthy. As you can see this is a pretty small smoothie I made. 

Next we have our fruits. If you want your smoothie to be a pretty lighter green color stick with light fruits like, peaches, pineapples, mango, and bananas. I only actually put about half of the fruit pictured here in the smoothie. 

Before blending the fruit in I like to add a couple of super healthy bonus ingredients. Two tablespoons full of ground flack seed. If you prefer to add liquid fish oil, another healthy source of Omega 3s feel free. 

I then add one to two scoops of vanilla protein powder. No meal is complete without protein! 

Blend it all together until smooth. Check the constancy and taste to see if you need more water, or something to make it taste less like banana. 

Drink for breakfast, or a post workout recovery drink!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Did you know?

Here are just a few of what I call "duh" rules of not only fat loss/muscle gain, but just general health.

*If it's sweet, and not a vegetable or fruit, it is NOT for breakfast.
            Seriously, who is the marketing genius who all of the sudden thought, "I know, let's add fake fruit to this cake and call it a muffin, people will LOVE it". Jim Gaffigan does a great bit on this concept.
This also covers your cereals, and sugar infused "natural" fruit juices. Just say no.  You will feel so much better throughout the day, now that you are not having a sugar crash at 11 every morning.

*If you can't pronounce the ingredients, it was not meant to be eaten.
         Have you ever read the ingredients of what you are eating? I mean seriously! Generally speaking the less ingredients the better, or if you are buying produce and there are NO labels then you know it's going to be good. This goes for your food, and your drinks.  

*For fat loss, eat off a smaller plate, for muscle gain, eat off a larger plate.
                 This also means if you are small (i.e.5' nothing), eat off of a smaller plate, and if you are bigger (i.e. 6'8'') eat off of a larger plate. The concept is simple, if you have less room for food, you will put less on your plate, and in the end eat less, same thing for if you  are trying to bulk up.... We do it for toddlers.

*You don't always have to clean your plate

                 Your mom was wrong, and so was your grandma. Unlike them we are not growing up during a depression where it's a miracle if we have a full plate to start off with. And those starving children in Africa won't mind if you eat the rest of your dinner for lunch tomorrow. I promise.  Also if your food has gone bad, toss it! The cheese cake from a week ago that smells iffy... NOT WORTH IT. I promise, there will be other cheesecakes and throwing up for two days is not worth it, for any food.

*If you can't keep your eyes open, you probably need sleep, not caffeine!
                 Sleep really is THE best medicine. I am talking about sleep at NIGHT, not lazy cat naps during the day while you watch TV and nosh down cheetos. 
Did you know?
 Sleep is restorative for the brain.

Your immune system works DOUBLE time while you are sleeping.

Too little sleep can lead to weight gain by altering levels of the hormones that regulate satiety and hunger, leading to overeating, overweight, and obesity. (Can't seem to lose any weight? Try sleeping at least 6-8 hours a night)

Insufficient sleep is associated with a higher incidence of behavioral problems, especially attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Memory consolidation occurs during slow wave sleep, meaning that the different pieces of what we've learned during the day come together coherently so that the knowledge can be accessed when needed.


*A potato does NOT count as your vegetable for the meal. 

                      Hate to break it to you, but French fries and ketchup are not veggies, and they never will be. Also a potato (especially your basic white) is mostly starch, this means you might as well be eating a slice of Wonder bread, and calling that a vegetable. 
              PS: Something that I have always found funny is that in order for a potato to be edible it has to be deep fried, or covered in gravy and sour cream... who are we kidding? Just eat a spoonful of gravy mixed with sour cream and you will be better off. (Sick, I know)
Don't eat me...seriously

I hope this has been fun and informative. 
Remember you can email or message me anytime with questions. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

All About warming up

Warming up is fun, right?
Stand up touch your toes, swing your arms around a few times and you are ready to run your marathon, or max out on bench press, right?  

Warming up is important for improved workouts, strength, and flexibility. Warming up can also help to prevent stiffness and injuries. 
"While age-related connective tissue changes and water loss can contribute to inflexibility, most of it comes down to “use it or lose it.” A proper warm-up helps to counteract negative effects of aging while enhancing performance. 

Not warming up can lead to poor mobility/flexibility, injuries and stiffness. These are the people at the senior center, on a basketball court or at the family reunion who can't move, pick up kids, play sports, exercise to their full capacity, or clean up spilled hemp seeds."

We now understand that warming up is important, but how do we do it properly?

A proper warm-up consists of movements that: 
  • Move joints through their ranges of motion (ROM) — and enhance this ROM
  • Enhance mobility
  • Release connective tissue bonds
  • Distribute fluid in the joint space
  • Boost speed/force of muscle contractions
  • Amplify nerve impulse transmission
  • Promote oxygen uptake

Here are some basic movements:
  • Movements intended to get the core temperature up and the whole body moving, e.g. brisk walking or light jogging while swinging the arms
  • Static movements (moving into a position and briefly holding it) — the classic “stretch and hold”, e.g. touching your toes for 30 seconds.
  • Dynamic movements such as:                                                                                                                           *stretching while moving (e.g. walking lunges for hip flexibility, or tipping your head side to side for neck mobility)                                                                                                                                      *moving against light resistance (e.g. a few single-legged Romanian dead lifts with light or no weight, or jumping)

     More Details:   
  • Static Exercises                                                                                                                                      These are your classic "stretch and hold" types, toe touches and what not. These have gotten a bad rap lately in the fitness community. There are both advantages as well as disadvantages to warming up with static stretches.                                                                                                                                       * Static stretching can improve flexibility at a given range of motion. It can also improve balance — a bonus for yogis and gymnasts.                                                                                                          *However, static stretching can create a temporary strength deficit, diminish jump performance and decrease running economy for up to 1 hour, since the sensitivity of tension receptors in muscle is decreased.  (Think of stretching a rubber band to its max then trying to load it... won't hold very much)                                                                                                                 This can be used as an advantage by a trainer, or coach by stretching a muscle group that is normally too tight in order to "coach" the body into using the proper muscle group. (ie: hip flexor stretch before running or squatting to "turn off" the hip flexors and "turn on" the glutes. Pretty cool hu?                                                                                                                    
  • Dynamic Exercises                                                                                                                                  These, as their name suggests, are exercises that require movement. (Walking lunges, mountain climbers, etc...)                                                                                                                                                          *A dynamic warm-up can improve nervous system activation, power, and range of motion at the joint. Dynamic exercises performed before exercise/sport that requires high muscular forces can increase blood flow, metabolic activity, temperature, oxygen uptake, muscle compliance, nerve impulses, decrease resistance of connective tissues and reduce muscle tension. This type of warm-up creates minimal (to no) muscle damage, so it’s fine to do on a regular basis.  When you have mobile soft tissue and a rapid response nervous system, you’ll be able to move better and perform exercises that challenge your body. This means more productive workouts and a healthier physique.
  • Foam Rolling                                                                                                                                            Basically just sit or lie with a specific muscle group on the roller (ie glutes, quads, back) roll slowly back and forth focusing on sore areas.                                                                                                             *Foam rolling can be included as part of a warm-up since it helps with mobility and breaks down scar tissue/adhesions. This relaxes the fascia and makes muscle more pliable. Foam rolling feels like deep tissue massage, so it can be a bit painful, but you walk away feeling lose and ready to work.
In all this information I have not given you a good basic warm up... so here are a few warm ups that I love and use on a regular basis.

Planks:2 sets
  • Front (30 Seconds)
  • Both Sides (30 seconds each side)
Medicine Ball Throws (2 sets)
There is something therapeutic about throwing a ball as hard as you can off a wall, and knowing that if you don't catch it it's going to bounce back at your face...
  • Chest Pass
  • Over Head Slam
  • Side Throw (off each hip)
  • Side Facing Throw (off each hip) 

Dynamic Exercises (there are too many to list...)
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Clean and Press
  • Box Jumps
  • Walking Lunges
  • Push Ups
  • Low Jump Backs
  • Light Jog

In review:
         *Warming up is important. It improves the quality of your workout, by getting muscles ready to work.
         *There are several different types of warm ups (I have listed only a few)
         *Stretching (toe touches) lengthens muscle making them less ready to bear heavy loads
         *Dynamic warm ups, literally warm the muscles (by getting blood pumping) and thus help to increase                  the value of your workout.
         *Foam rolling is amazing

Being Healthy Isn't Rocket Science

-Being healthy isn't rocket science. Eat healthy and try to do something that makes you sweat each day. -Lift weights (heavy ones) at least three times a week. You won't get big, I promise. -Eat as many fruits and veggies as possible. -Elliptical machines will not get you a supermodel body. -Pull-ups will single handedly get your arms ripped and help with your surfing. -Yoga rocks! -Cooking your own food does wonders for your waistline and bank account. -Finding an active hobby like surfing or hiking is a must. -Healthy, fit, awesome bodies come in all different shapes, sizes and heights.


I found this quote on a fellow fitness pro's blog. I did not really love the rest of her blog... but this quote I do love. 

What is the single best thing we can do for our health?

I found this video, and I loved the way he presented the information. I have made a list of all of the benefits he listed. 

If you don't want to read my post, you should at least watch the video! It's great!

*Reduced pain and inflammation in those with knee arthritis by 47%
*In older patience reduced progression to dementia and Alzheimer’s by 50%
*For patients at high risk for diabetes, it-reduced progression by 58%
*In post menopausal women it reduced the risk of hip fracture by 41%
*Reduced anxiety by 48%
*In patience with depression 30% were relieved with low dose, as does was increased 47% were relieved
*23% lower risk of death
*#1 treatment of fatigue
*Increased overall quality of life

As he said it only takes a small dose, 30 minutes per day, and you could reap all of these amazing life chaining benefits! The only regret you will have is that you did not start sooner! 

Here are some effective and fun exercises you can try out! 
For a complete exercise a nutrition program you can still enter my 90 Day Fit Challenge, or just come and try me out FREE for one week! 

When it Began:Why I thought I would love Yoga

When I began my yoga journey I was very interested in the things my physical body could do. I still am, to be honest, however my physical se...