Fitness

Increase Your Energy Level and Maintain it Throughout the Day

If you find yourself dragging during the day, do you look to an energy drink to pick you back up again?  Next time, try pumping up your energy with real food, which is packed with nature’s secret stash of natural revitalizers such as complex carbs, protein, and fiber. Stock up on these 6 superfoods and watch your energy rebound:

1)  Melons such as cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon aren’t just bursting with energizing vitamins and minerals. With 90 percent of their weight coming from water, they fight fatigue by keeping you hydrated.

2)  Greek yogurt with some berries give you the protein and carbohydrate boost you need.

3)  Polenta made from cornmeal, this Northern Italian staple is loaded with complex carbs. Unlike simple carbohydrates from highly-processed grains, complex carbs are broken down slowly so they keep your blood sugar on an even keel, providing a sustained energy release that lasts for hours. Plus, polenta couldn’t be easier to make with quick-cooking varieties ready in as little as 10 minutes. Simply stir it into boiling water, broth, or milk and serve. For a comforting whole grain start to your day, fold in dried tart cherries or chopped dried apricots. Or, prepare as a quick-fix dinner topped with marinara sauce instead of your usual pasta.

4)  Farmer’s cheese presses cheese curds that have been separated from the liquid, whey, until it is almost dry giving it a texture similar to but slightly drier than ricotta. It can be made from the milk of goats, sheep, or cows. Two tablespoons deliver 4 grams of high-quality protein for only 40 calories and 2 1/2 grams of fat. Chevre, made from goat’s milk, and Mexican queso blanco are two examples of farmer’s cheese.

5)  Add some walnuts and cherries to a fresh salad.  Both contain melatonin, which will help you sleep better at night.

6)  Edamame is one of the best choices of all. Not only is it perfectly balanced with slowly digested fiber, complex carbs, and healthy fat, it also contains 16 grams of protein per cup for less than 200 calories. Edamame is also rich in magnesium and B vitamins that our bodies need to convert carbohydrates into energy.

Be sure to snack every 2 to 3 hours to sustain your blood-sugar level and you will find that your energy level remains more stable throughout the day.  Keep those snacks simple, grab-and-go, to make it easier for you to make the right choices.

nuts

Reference:
Cooking Light Magazine

Thanksgiving Is Upon Us

Can you believe it’s Thanksgiving already?  The holidays are upon us, and so are all those parties and foods that can easily add to the waistline.  Here are some suggestions for avoiding that dreaded holiday weight gain.

 

EAT:

  • Nutrient-dense foods.  They are more filling, provide optimal nutrition to prevent food cravings & keep energy levels high.
  • Take high-quality supplements that provide optimal nutrition to prevent food cravings & keep energy levels high.
  • Balanced nutrition shakes & bars with protein, carbs, essential fatty acids & fiber will help balance blood sugar, promote detoxification, and lower the inflammation that holds on to belly fat.

When we feed our bodies whole foods in their most natural form, our bodies are able to absorb and utilize the nutrients the way nature intended.  We eat less, resulting in fewer calories consumed.  When we feed our bodies calorie-dense junk food, our body will force us to keep eating until it has the sufficient amount of nutrients in order to function properly.  Ergo, we crave more food. Nutrient-dense foods tend to be bulkier (not heavier), filling us up much faster.  You will notice once you start feeding your body properly, your cravings will disappear, and you will be much less hungry.

Never skip meals in anticipation of over-indulging later in the day.  You are much better off if you eat regular meals throughout the day, and snack on a healthy snack prior to going to any holiday party.  If its a potluck, bring a deliciously healthy appetizer with you so you know that you’ll have at least one good choice.

Here’s a recipe for sweet potato casserole I thought you might enjoy:

Sweet Potato Paleo Casserole

paleosweetpotatocasserole

Ingredients

  • 5 large sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp ghee, divided
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup, divided
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon, divided
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Instructions

  • Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the sweet potatoes and cook for 10-15 minutes until fork-tender. Remove from heat and drain.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add two tablespoons of ghee and maple syrup, the pot with the sweet potatoes. Stir in the vanilla, one teaspoon of cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mash until smooth. Adjust salt to taste. Transfer to a baking dish.
  • 3 In a small bowl, toss the walnuts with the coconut flakes, coconut oil, remaining ghee and syrup, and teaspoon of cinnamon. Cover the sweet potatoes with the walnut topping. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the walnut topping is golden. Serve warm.

Notes

  • Servings: 4-6 as a side
  • Difficulty: Easy
Thank you Paleo Grubs: http://paleogrubs.com/

Are You Including Balance Training in Your Workout Program?

Young couple run together on a sunset

Young couple run together on a sunset

Balance exercises improve physical health by enhancing joint stabilization and postural control during active movement. In addition, balance exercises improve our body’s ability to respond effectively to unstable environments. This important element of training can improve one’s overall physical health, help prevent falls, and help prevent injury.

Click Here for More Information on Balance Training

Push, Pull, Swing Your Way to a Great Body!

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What’s In Your Smoothie?

Ann Prokenpek - NASM Elite Trainer

Do you know what’s in that smoothie you just bought at a local smoothie shop?  Did you know that some smoothies may contain as many as 400+ calories and 82 grams of sugar?  Your smoothie could be sabotaging your fitness goals and causing you to gain weight.

Smoothie

To make sure that your smoothie is low in sugar and healthy, it’s best to make your own.  You can make a delicious, healthy smoothie by adding a cup of frozen pineapple, half-cup each of Greek yogurt, milk, and orange juice.  For added benefits, add spinach and/or kale, and you have a delicious, nutritious treat without all the sugar and calories of the Smoothie Store smoothie.