Saturday, January 28, 2012

To wine or not to wine?

Improving one's diet towards better health can be done in so many ways, a lot depends on what your starting point is, and why you want to change.  Do you want to lose a couple of pounds to look and feel better?  Do you want to lost 50+ pounds to avoid going on medications?  Do you want to improve your health and prevent medical issues rather than needing to fix them in a few years?  Do you have serious health problems that you want to make better?
Regardless of the change you need to make, you need a solid WHY so you have something to help motivate you and keep you pushing forward.

I meet people who want to lose weight but are not willing to make many changes in their lifestyle... like drinking wine!  I like wine so I am willing to help try and work it in, it just needs to be taken into consideration when you think about how important your WHY is!  If you only have a few pounds to lose and you are willing to cut calories elsewhere and add some vigorous exercise into your daily schedule, then maybe some of that wine can continue.  If the wine is the reason you have reached the need to improve your health then maybe it does need to go.  If you are battling serious health issues and need to drop weight quickly and long term then your lifestyle is definitely going to need to change or you will end up right back in the same place down the road.

Baby step #1: Get moving.  Don't run out and buy P90X and try to commit to a 60 minute workout 6 days/ week... chances are you won't get it done.  Start walking, play tennis, ride your bike, buy 10 minute trainer... start with 10 minute workouts and then stack them together to make a longer workout.

Baby step #2: Clean out your fridge and pantry.  Remove the whites (bread, rice, etc) and replace them with whole wheat versions.  Add lots of fruits and veggies.  Choose lean proteins.  Cut out the processed foods.  Don't drink too many of your calories in the form of coffee creamer, juice and alcohol.  Moderation!!!!  Add Shakeology - a whole food, very nutritious meal replacement shake.  I drink it every day for good health.

Baby step #3: Stick with it!  Remember, you are taking baby steps here so chances are you are not going to see dramatic changes on the scale... but you WILL see changes if you stick with 2 steps.  Slowly but surely pounds will drop, your clothes will fit better, your energy will increase and then we can add more intense workouts!!!

Lets start the ball rolling in the right direction!!!  Are you looking for some great motivation?  Let's do this together.  I need 4 more people to join my fitness challenge on Monday February 6th... enough time to order a challenge pack or pull out some programs you have any get rolling ahead.

Join me!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Are all calories equal?

How do you lose weight?  You consume less calories than you use! Simple really ;-)

A few twists can make it harder or easier though.

First off, it is not recommended to eat less than 1200 calories a day (unless you are doing a specific short lasting cleanse- but that is debatable as well).  Most people would lose weight if they only consumed 1200 calories a day... The problem that arises here is if you have very low muscle tone and a low metabolic rate and your body doesn't even need 1200 calories for basic functioning, you may still gain weight eating the smallest amount recommend!!! 

Solution... add exercise and weight training.  By weight training I don't mean rush out to the gym, load up the barbells and start lifting, it can be as simple as working on a few pushups... these can be on your toes, on your knees or even against the wall.  Dips on chairs.  Grab some cans out of the pantry and curl them, lift them over your head then out to the side.  There are many simple tools you can use to start and slowly work on building muscle... starting often requires baby steps if you have never set out to do serious exercise before.

If you are exercising regularly then you need to add calories to get you through your workouts.  If you don't consume enough calories your body can actually hold on to any extra weight if you put it into "starvation mode".  Check out the Beachbody website to calculate your nutritional needs here.  You can sign up for the FREE membership option to check things out.

Another important detail is those calories you put in your body.  Is a calorie a calorie?  There is much debate about this.  Weight Watcher's lists include McDonalds foods, there are many processed foods that are labeled as "light" in the grocery store aisles... you body has a lot of requirements to make it function optimally and if all of your calories come from processed foods you may still continue with losing weight but you will not be focusing on good health at the same time.
Does this really matter?
Does feeling good matter to you?  You probably want to lose weight to fit in your clothes better, to be healthier and to feel better about yourself.  Is the number on the scale most important?  It shouldn't be.  Feeling great and long term health should be key!  Yes, losing weight will help you feel better than you did, but when combined with good nutrition you will feel even better and it will become second nature and will be a long term lifestyle change instead of a quick fix.
An option many people peruse is a meal replacement drink.  If it can fill you up and keep you from eating a potentially unhealthy meal it will help you keep your calories down.  If it has great nutrition at the same time you win by leaps and bounds!  Here is a comparison chart on some of the leading meal replacement drinks and how their nutrition stacks up (yes, it is put out by Shakeology so you get some info on the extra ingredients too):

I am in it for the long haul.  I love to exercise, I love fruits and veggies, I can throw together a healthy meal with ease, but I cannot get all of the nutrition I need on a daily basis from just the foods I buy at the grocery store to include in a typical meal.  I could buy more supplements, but not all supplements are created equal either.  Shakeology is whole foods, fully bioavailable, not made for long shelf life so it isn't cooked and preserved.  In addition to my regular food I drink a Shakeology shake daily, I take a calcium supplement and an omega-3 supplement.  I also throw in some extra vitamin C when viruses hit our home!  I don't know if this is for you but I can tell you that people have lost weight, decreased their cholesterol and blood pressure, improved their digestion and are just plain feeling better after adding Shakeology to their day!  Take a look at Carl Daikeler's blog here for some great stories of others.
Let me know how I can help you reach your goals by email or head to my site at

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Workout with Live with Kelly!

This week in Live with Kelly, she is doing New Year's Fitness Week and introducing some great fitness programs!  On Monday she did some Turbo Kick with Chalene Johnson.  TK is my soulmate workout!  It is the class I teach where I scorch a bazillion calories and help other people do the same.  Check out Kelly and Chalene.

A very similar workout is TurboFire which you can do in the comfort of your own home!

 On Tuesday, Kelly worked out with Tony Horton and did some moves from P90X and P90X2... she asked if the ultimate goal was death!  but then did the moves very well... maybe she will be the next celebrity P90Xer!!!  Check out Kelly and Tony.

Now how about some Shakeology to go with that Kelly?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Can Physical Activity Help After Cancer?

I am posting a guest blog from an aspiring writer interested in health and wellness!  Great information!

Cancer treatments and the cancer itself take a big toll on the human body. People who have overcome the deadly disease make preventing re occurrence their number one concern. Luckily there are ways to combat re occurrence. Studies have shown that a regular exercise routine can extend the lives of patients and help in preventing cancer from coming back.

With exhaustion being a main side effect of treatment it is often hard to find the motivation to begin. Light physical activities that work many muscle groups such as walking, taking the stairs instead of the escalator, or putting groceries away, can aid in rebuilding energy levels. Doing exercises that are inside a patient’s comfort level is important; cancer patients who over-exert themselves will not see the greatest of benefits.

The most useful activities for cancer patients are cardio workouts and strength training. Strength training like weight lifting or resistance training is very important because muscle is often lost during treatment, and it is essential to build it back up. A recommended exercise regimen includes about a half of an hour of moderate exercise five times a week (American Cancer Society).

Diet and weight management are just as important as exercise for the long term well-being of someone who has, or had cancer. Boosting energy and maintaining a healthy weight are important and these things will also help prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Life expectancy is increased for anyone who is in shape over those who are inactive. This is true for anyone, not just cancer patients.

It is necessary for cancer patients who wish to start a daily exercise regimen to consult with a doctor or trainer who specializes in working with cancer patients to ensure the patient is doing the right exercises and aiming for the right level of activity. To keep motivation levels up cancer patients can join an exercise group or find someone who is at a comparable fitness level. With exercise, the best approach is to take things slowly and remember that any exercise is better than none!

Beating cancer is like getting a second chance at life, and that chance should be used for all it’s worth. Having a strong mindset is critical, whether you are going though mesothelioma treatment or you have just conquered breast cancer.  Finding the time and motivation to exercise and improve health is an activity everyone needs to fit in their busy schedules.

Now it's your turn. Are you or someone you know recovering from cancer? Is it hard to think about exercise when you feel so tired? Does it seem counter-intuitive to exercise after cancer treatment? What do you do to find motivation to incorporate cardiovascular and strength training after fighting cancer?

Liz Davies is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer especially interested in health and wellness. During the last year of her education she worked at her school’s Recreation and Wellness Center. She wants to make a difference in people’s lives because she sees how cancer has devastated so many people in this world. Liz also likes running, playing lacrosse, reading and playing with her dog, April.