Tag Archives: Health

There are two times when a woman can gain Fat Cells

Did you know that there are two times in your life when you gain fat cells? I do not mean gain weight by filling fat cells, I mean actually acquiring additional cells which increases the amount of fat you can potentially store. These two times are when you are a child and when you are pregnant. both gain fat Ironically, it is when women are pregnant that they are the most likely to over eat. We simply say we are "Eating For 2". Well news flash, you are eating for like 1.2 people. That tiny person inside does not need its own 8 ounce steak and baked potato. In fact, a pregnant mother only really needs around 350-450 extra calories per day to support a growing fetus. Yet many women will give in to the temptation of excess food because there is an idea that it's ok because "I am pregnant". What they usually do not know is that they are not only packing on baby fat, they are adding additional fat cells and they will NEVER go away. You can lose fat, but the cells are with you for life. The other instance when we as humans develop fat cells is as children while we are developing. It is for this reason that childhood obesity is becoming such a problem. Many parents tell themselves that their child will grow into the extra pounds and struggle to say no when their child is crying for junk food. It is so much easier to just give in. What they do not realize is that they are allowing their child to gain extra fat cells. The extra cells will make weight gain more of an issue for the rest of the child's life. Again, any excess cells gained during this period are with you FOREVER. Thus making the likelihood of diabetes as an adult more likely. fat-cells This is all information I was shocked to hear and being that I am so informed when it comes to health and fitness and yet I did not know, I am compelled to share. Information is power so please share this. You may make post par-tum weight loss a lot easier for a future mommy out there or help a parent do what is best for their child. Saying no is hard but knowing that they are making their adult life better makes it easier.

Is Alcohol Sabotaging Your Weight loss??

  alcohol As someone that has suffered from Alcoholism for many years, I have experienced first hand the role alcohol plays with weight loss or lack thereof. The biggest mistake dieters make in regards to alcohol is to either have "just one glass" of wine daily or to only drink on weekends but be soooooo good during the week. Well sorry, that does not help you get results, at least not at a good healthy pace. Let me explain why. Alcohol is metabolized differently than other foods and beverages. Under normal conditions, your body gets energy from calories in carbohydrates, fats and proteins which are slowly digested and absorbed within the gastrointestinal system. However, this digestive process changes when alcohol is present. When you drink alcohol, it gets immediate attention (because it is viewed by the body as a toxin) and needs no digestion. When the body is focused on processing alcohol, its not able to properly break down foods containing carbohydrates and fat. Therefore, these calories are converted into body fat and are carried away for permanent storage (FAT). So in short, it is not the calories of the alcohol that make you fat, but all the crap that you eat with it. And we all know how hard it is to resist salty greasy food when you are drinking. So now you understand why you can't lose weight while drinking on the weekends but what about the 5 days during the week when you are "Good"? Let me explain what happens there. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it causes water loss and dehydration. Along with this water loss you lose important minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, calcium and zinc. These minerals are vital to the maintenance of fluid balance, chemical reactions, and muscle contraction and relaxation. Your bodies natural defense to this severe dehydration is to retain water. I can guarantee that after a night of drinking, you notice a gain up to 4 pounds the next day. However, on days that you really over do it, you will wake up all dehydrated, feeling skinny with a severe hangover from binge drinking. But later in the day after you start drinking water you will see the excess weight which will stick with you for the 2 days that follow. It takes the body up to 3 days to recover from a binger and during this recovery period, you WILL NOT LOSE FAT! Your body is simply not primed to focus on burning calories from fat when it is working to repair the damage from drinking. So as you can see, if you are a "WEEKEND DRINKER", that means that you are not losing weight:
  1. Friday - Saturday while drinking. In fact you store fat during these days.
  2. Sunday - Tuesday while your body is recovering.
This means that you have Wednesday - Thursday to actually get some successful fat calorie burning. Likely most of this calorie burning is simply working off the calories stored during the weekend. It is easy to see how this cycle sabotages any weight loss. This is a perfectly fine lifestyle for someone that is maintaining their weight as long as they are cautious about food calories and continue to workout but for someone trying to actually lose weight, fat chance!!! Sorry but its the truth and I lived it for YEARS. I am an expert of this cycle. In fact I drank many weekdays also in my past. And my weight just continued to rise until I topped off at 174 pounds and finally had enough. For those of you that are serious about dropping fat and getting healthy, kick the booze, at last for a few months. Don't fall into the skinny margarita trap. If you want to see my own story and results Here You Go.  

Good protein sources for vegetarians

Vegetarians run a high risk of low iron due to the fact that they do not consume animal meat which is a primary source of protein. So for those of you doing a vegetarian diet or lifestyle, here are some great sources of protein: 1. Beans and Lentils - They are the cheapest source of protein. So whether you prefer kidney, garbanzo, white, black, or pinto beans, buy lots of cans of beans, rinse and drain them to remove 40% of the sodium, and use them in everything.
  • White beans taste awesome in pasta
  • Garbanzo or edamame in stir-fries
  • Black beans and pinto in burritios, tacos and quesadillas
  • Lentils or kidney are great in salads and whole grain pita lunches.
To avoid toxins found in metal canned foods, buy an organic grand, look for frozen beans, or buy dried ones and cook them yourself. 2. Nuts and Seeds - Nuts contain 3 to 7 grams of protein per 1/3 cup serving depending on the type (peanuts and pine nuts have the most). Seeds have 2-5 grams per 1/3 cup serving depending on the type. As far as nuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, cashews, and pine nuts are all good vegetarian protein sources. Sprinkle them on everything from salads to yogurt. As far as seeds, pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower are great sources of protein. Perhaps try a seed butter on toast with jelly. I prefer jalapeno jelly. I like a little spice. 3. Chia seeds have some protein, not as much as nuts or legumes, but they have high nutritional value. They are an incredible source of fiber with nearly 11 grams of fiber in a single ounce. That is 1/2 your daily value of fiber. They contain 18% of your daily calcium requirement, which is more that triple the amount you get from a serving of milk. And they have no flavor so you can add a tablespoon to almost anything. Throw them in the blender with a shake or mix them in with some rice. They won't alter the flavor of anything you eat. 4. Tofu and Tempeh - Tofu has 8 grams of protein per serving while Tempeh has 18 grams per serving. Literally, use tofu in place of chicken in any recipe. You can make a burger with it or use it in chili or seasoned or broiled into a high-protein crouton on a salad. But look for organic products to avoid GMOs (genetically modified organism). If you are not a fan of the texture of soy or tempeh, you can try soy in the form of soy milk which has 8 grams of protein per glass. Do not make soy your main source of protein though because too much can cause issues with hormones in your body for both women and men. Aim for one serving of soy per day maximum. 5. Hemp - Hemp seeds contain 6 grams of protein per ounce and hemp milk has  2 grams per cup. So if you are freaked out by the potential affects on your hormones by soy, then hemp products are the next best choice. Hemp is sold as a dairy alternative or as seeds and is one of the very few plants proteins that supply you with all the essential amino acids. These acids are necessary to build muscle and create more protein. The fatty acids in hemp seeds and hemp milk also boost your immune system. 6. Eggs contain 6 grams of protein per egg. The protein in eggs has the highest biological value which is a measure of how well it supports your body's protein needs of any food, including beef. The yolks contain vitamin B12. 7. Greek Yogurt has 15 - 20 grams of protein per 6 ounce serving. All dairy sources are good sources of protein but Greek Yogurt contains the same amount of protein as a three ounce serving of lean meat. So top that off with a handful of nuts and you will get a large amount of your daily protein in a single meal. 8. Avocados contain 4 grams of protein per avocado. All veggies contain between 1 - 2 grams of protein per cup but avocados (which are technically a fruit) but avocados contain twice that. The protein in avocado also contains all nine essential amino acids. The same acids your body needs to build muscle. 9. Pseudograins - These are actually seeds that are cooked and served like grains. Some wonderful pseudograins include quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, and wild rice. Pseudograins are a great alternative for people that have an intolerance to the gluten in wheat, barley and rye. However whole grains contain decent amounts of protein, wheat providing the highest plant based protein of any food. If you decide to eat corn, choose blue over the yellow and white because it has 30% more protein.   So as you can see there are lots of options and alternatives to get appropriate amounts of protein in the diet when following a vegetarian lifestyle.  

Grain Free Tortillas (Paleo Tortillas)

paleo tortilla

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 egg whites (2/3 cup)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup water*
  • 1 tablespoon melted lard (cooled), palm shortening, olive oil or other liquified fat of your choice
  • 1 cup tapioca starch/flour
  • 1/2 cup flax meal
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • lard, olive oil or coconut oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Whisk the eggs, egg whites and water in a medium-large bowl. Drizzle in the 1 tablespoon of melted lard (or other liquified fat) while whisking.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the tapioca starch/flour, flax meal, coconut flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk thoroughly until combined and smooth. The batter will be very thin – much thinner than pancake batter.Paleo Tortilla Batter
  4. Heat a crêpe pan or medium, flat-bottomed, non-stick skillet on medium-high heat.
  5. Melt a small amount of lard on the surface.
  6. Pour about 1/3 cup of batter on the hot pan surface. (I used a 1/3 cup measuring cup)
  7. Holding onto the handle of the pan, remove it from the heat and swirl the pan so the batter coats the bottom and you have an (approximate) 8-inch tortilla. You will have to work quickly.
  8. Cook for 1-2 minutes on the first side.Paleo Tortillas
  9. Flip and cook another 30 seconds to 1 minute on the second side. (Don’t overcook the tortillas if you want them to stay soft and pliable)Paleo Tortillas
Makes 8 paleo tortillas NOTES:
  • I used a crêpe pan to make the tortillas but I also made a few of them in my regular non-stick pan and they were fine.
  • I greased the pan for the first tortilla but did not need much for subsequent ones because the pan was seasoned and there is enough fat in the batter.
  • *The ingredient list shows 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water simply because it is easier to add water than to adjust the recipe if you have a batter that is too thin. In my experience the 1/2 cup of water makes for thicker, more corn tortilla-like paleo tortillas. The extra 1/4 cup of water can be added if your batter seems too thick and your tortillas are not thin enough. When I made them with the increased amount of water the end product was more like a crêpe. They actually tasted good and I kind of liked the texture for more of a sweet crêpe recipe whereas the thicker ones seem better for Tex-Mex recipes and wraps. It’s a personal choice and you will figure our what works best for your technique and taste. 

Nut flour Tortillas (chips, bread, pizza crust)

After making these, you can just change the cooking time for your liking as to consistency, they hold together as sandwhich thins, can be baked crispy for chips, can bake them a little less so they are flexible to make sandwhiches, or you can make a pizza crust with it     Ingredients:
  • 2 Cups of Almond Flour
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 1 Tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
Steps:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and knead like a dough
  3. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet or use a nonstick one and roll out the dough as think or thick as you like (You will have to adjust cooking time for your desired thickness, you can tell when its done by touching it and seeing if its to your liking)
  4. I made mine about 1/8 inch thick and baked it for 8 minutes and it was perfect
  5. Enjoy on many things just leave me some comments on what you use them for
*******You can just use this recipe as a base, Add spices, herbs, or any flavors you want. Get inventive and get out of your box a little, who is scared of a little flavor?*********  

Yams Versus Sweet Potatoes – Which is best????

Yam or sweet potato, what in the world is it? Many people use these terms interchangeably both in conversation and in cooking, but they are really two different vegetables. Sweet Potatoes Popular in the American South, these yellow or orange tubers are elongated with ends that taper to a point and are of two dominant types. The paler-skinned sweet potato has a thin, light yellow skin with pale yellow flesh which is not sweet and has a dry, crumbly texture similar to a white baking potato. The darker-skinned variety (which is most often called "yam" in error) has a thicker, dark orange to reddish skin with a vivid orange, sweet flesh and a moist texture. Current popular sweet potato varieties include Goldrush, Georgia Red, Centennial, Puerto Rico, New Jersey, and Velvet. Yams The true yam is the tuber of a tropical vine (Dioscorea batatas) and is not even distantly related to the sweet potato. Slowly becoming more common in US markets, the yam is a popular vegetable in Latin American and Caribbean markets, with over 150 varieties available worldwide. Generally sweeter than than the sweet potato, this tuber can grow over seven feet in length. The word yam comes from African words njam, nyami, or djambi, meaning "to eat," and was first recorded in America in 1676. The yam tuber has a brown or black skin which resembles the bark of a tree and off-white, purple or red flesh, depending on the variety. They are at home growing in tropical climates, primarily in South America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Yams contain more natural sugar than sweet potatoes and have a higher moisture content. Which is best for a Healthy Diet? By far, the yam due to the lower sugar content. With Diabetes rampant in our country and becoming an epidemic, lower sugar options are preferred. See the nutritional contents for each below:
 
 Versus
 
 Yam
Sweet potato
Amount Per
100 g
100 g
Calories
118 86
% Daily Value
% Daily Value
Total Fat
0.2 g
0%
0 g
0%
Saturated fat
0 g
0%
0 g
0%
Polyunsaturated fat
0.1 g
0 g
Monounsaturated fat
0 g
0 g
Cholesterol
0 mg
0%
0 mg
0%
Sodium
9 mg
0%
55 mg
2%
Potassium
816 mg
23%
337 mg
9%
Total Carbohydrate
28 g
9%
20 g
6%
Dietary fiber
4.1 g
16%
3 g
12%
Sugar
0.5 g
4.2 g
Protein
1.5 g
3%
1.6 g
3%
Caffeine
0 mg
0 mg
Vitamin A
138 IU
2%
14187 IU
283%
Vitamin C
17.1 mg
28%
2.4 mg
4%
Calcium
17 mg
1%
30 mg
3%
Iron
0.5 mg
2%
0.6 mg
3%
Vitamin B-6
0.3 mg
15%
0.2 mg
10%
Vitamin B-12
0 µg
0%
0 µg
0%
Magnesium
21 mg
5%
25 mg
6%

The relationship between Vitamin D and PCOS

Image I had some blood work done with an endocrinologist recently in an effort to see where my hormone levels are at. I have utilized diet and exercise to reverse my PCOS symptoms but have been very tired and fatigued the past few months. I was worried my symptoms were coming back. My blood results were a little shocking, I was EXTREMELY Vitamin D Deficient. In fact the doctor wants me to take 2,000 IU of Vitamin D daily. He also mentioned it may have a connection to me not getting pregnant. So you guessed it, I got on the vitamins and started doing my research. Here is what I found: A woman suffering from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome has to deal with all the annoying systems like irregular periods, depression, weight gain, excessive facial and body hair, cysts on the ovaries and infertility.  All these PCOS symptoms are caused by a hormonal imbalance and abnormally high androgen levels.  There are many things that can help to alleviate some of these symptoms such as proper nutrition and regular exercise.  Doctors now suggest that Vitamin D can play a key roll in helping to alleviate some of the symptoms of PCOS as well. Many women who suffer from PCOS are deficient in Vitamin D.  Since Vitamin D is beneficial for improving fertility, breast health, nervous system health and weight control, it is important for those who suffer from PCOS to take a Vitamin D supplement. It is not currently known yet if low levels of Vitamin D in PCOS patients are the cause for their polycystic ovaries or if it is the other way around.  There have been studies done that have shown that using Vitamin D supplements is suspected to decease insulin resistance in women with PCOS. In fact, many women have had some great results! However, you should talk to your doctor and be cautious because the studies that have been completed were not very extensive and there is still more research to be done before making the claim that Vitamin D supplements can greatly improve the symptoms associated with PCOS. If you suffer from PCOS and you do not currently know what your Vitamin D levels are, you can have a simple blood test done at your doctor’s office to check it.  Even though doctors are not totally sure that Vitamin D supplementation with PCOS is beneficial, it is still beneficial to everyone’s health to take a supplement of Vitamin D daily. So it certainly can’t hurt as long as your doctor gives you the okay! If you are interested in testing out whether or not Vitamin D supplementation will help to improve your PCOS symptoms, you can always do an experiment of your own.  Begin taking a daily supplement of Vitamin D and chart your PCOS symptoms each day.  By doing this you will be able to know if you can personally benefit by using a Vitamin D supplement.  It’s worth a try if it helps you to feel better and live a more fulfilling life as a result. Vitamin D can be increased in the body by simply soaking in some sunshine, but for many of us that is not a daily occurrence.  If you are not able to spend 10 to 15 minutes in sunlight per day, you may want to consider taking a vitamin D supplement. As my own experiment, I started taking a multivitamin with 1,000 IU of Vitamin D twice daily and I can honestly feel the difference in my energy level. I cannot believe it was such an easy fix for my fatigue. With the uphill battle against my PCOS symptoms and weight loss, I expected yet again another battle. But just taking a supplement, that is a relief. I have even started taking my coffee outside and just enjoying the sunlight daily. So ladies and fellow Cysters, please share this with fellow Cysters. Such a simple fix.

My Challenger Made me Cry

Bri transformation I had something wonderful happen that I just have to share. This is the 60 day transformation photos for one of the women in my challenge group. She started the group Day 1 very depressed and ashamed of herself, but hopeful. By no means did she look terrible but she just felt terrible and opened up to the idea of allowing me to guide her through the challenge group process. She did great!!!! While looking at her transformation photos after the 60 day challenge was over, I mentioned to her that her posture looked better in her 60 day photo. Her response was "You stand up straighter when you're proud!!" I totally lost it and was crying. This made my whole day. I am so dang proud of her. This whole process not only brought happiness to her and her marriage but to me as well. This is exactly why I love being a Beachbody Coach. I love sharing these stories.

How I reversed my PCOS naturally

It has been quite a long and painful journey from discovering I had PCOS to finally reversing it. So to share the story, I did a video with the help of some amazing friends that are huge supporters in helping me get the word out there. It can be done! PCOS can be reversed NATURALLY! You just have to be willing to BE THE CHANGE!!!! http://youtu.be/HcEudUdirEQ

P-Doggy X puppy in training

P doggy 90  
It is so important to not only monitor your own diet but your furry friends too! I lost a dog (more like a child) a few months back, Oliver, to pancreatitis which is caused by several things including a fatty diet. My poor Ollie had lots of other contributing medical issues but I had no idea that the chicken scraps he loved were just "bad" for him. I started "P-Doggy X" in an effort to help him lose weight but his compounded medical issues ended up taking him from me. I have since adopted a new puppy. This little guy is my new angel "Deuce" and I am starting him off right. He is on the puppy version of the program which I am calling "P-Doggy 90". He doesn't get the table scraps Ollie did and I make sure to exercise him regularly. I will never forget my beloved Oliver and Baby Deuce has his own place in my heart.