Before You Shop for Protein

Protein ShakesOne of the first things people add to their shopping list when they start a health and fitness program is protein. But, what is a “protein shake”? If I were to randomly ask people in a grocery store what defines a protein shake, most people would have no clue where to even begin.

How many calories should a protein shake have? How many grams of protein should it have in it? Should it have carbs and fat? What type of protein should it have; egg, whey, soy, pea, rice, milk concentrate? These are common questions most people don’t have the answers to.

My goal today is to help eliminate confusion, point out common mistakes and help you understand what to look for when shopping protein shakes so you don’t waste your time or money.

Shopping Protein Shakes

lose weight1. Know your goal. Your goal is a big determining factor when it comes to choosing the best protein shake for you. Not all protein products are equal. There are different protein powders for different goals.

Do you want to lose weight or gain weight? How do you plan on adding protein to your meal plan? Will you be doing a shake in place of a meal or will you be doing protein as a snack? Are you taking it post workout, before bed or between meals?  These are all super important questions that will result in a different suggested products to help you reach your goals.

2. Know how to read nutrition facts. How do you know how many calories is too much or too little? This is easy! If there are 4 calories in every gram of protein, then a 20 gram shake will have 80 calories just from protein alone. Anything over that will be extra calories from other ingredients. While it’s ok to have a few extra calories from a little fat and sugar, a low calorie 20gm protein shake should be around 90-120 calories. If you need extra calories because you are an athlete and need more energy to perform or to replace calories, then a higher calorie shake would be best. Again, it goes back to what supports your goal. I personally look for natural ingredients, low sugar (1-2gms), low calories and around 20gms of protein or more.

protein powders3. Know what type of protein to get. While I don’t have room in this blog to break this topic down in detail, study after study has proven that whey protein is the most superior protein for muscle repair. Egg protein is also very good, probably second to whey. However, soy protein is a protein you should completely avoid since it’s been linked to increased risk of cancer and hormonal issues.

Plant based proteins are okay, but rarely compete with whey simply because they often lack some amino acids, reducing efficacy. Finally, undenatured whey protein is the highest quality whey protein because it is the least processed protein. While most companies use high heat, acid, alcohol or other methods to extract the protein, undenatured whey protein is the healthiest whey protein.

64351448_1107796879410988_6355103731106368422_n4. Know trustworthy brands. Unfortunately, most companies care more about their bank account than your health. Label lying is real and the vast majority of protein on the shelves are packed with fillers and false advertising. Sadly, just because it says it has 20 grams of protein on the label, doesn’t mean you are actually eating, absorbing and using 20 grams of protein. In order for you to get the most out of protein, the amino acid profile needs to include all 9 amino acids. It’s amazing how many protein powders out there do not have quality complete protein that your body can actually use.

The only way to really know if you can trust the label is to find a company you can trust. A company that puts your health first and has a no-compromise policy. Another way to trust your label is to find products that are certified by 3rd party companies hired to test the product. For instance, my protein is Informed Sports Certified, which guarantees the quality and accuracy of the product. This costs money, so most companies will not take extra measures for quality control.

quality5. Never settle. If you are trying to improve your health, why would you compromise when it comes to healthy ingredients? Too often people focus so much on protein that they ignore all the mysterious ingredients on the label. What value is it to gain muscle and lose your health. I learned this the hard way. Demand quality. Demand natural healthy ingredients. Get informed and make informed decisions. You are worth it.

Remember, protein isn’t just for bodybuilders. We lose muscle as we age and we must be proactive to give our body the nutrients it needs to fight muscle deterioration to remain strong, vibrant and youthful – plus it helps stave off hunger and makes dieting a lot easier!

 

“Where’s the Beef?” The Demand for Evidence

where's the beef?Remember the 1980’s Wendy’s commercial? 81 year old Clara Peller inspects the burger from the fictitious fast food chain “Home of the Big Bun.” While the other ladies marveled over how big and fluffy the bun was, Clara clearly was not impressed and croaked the iconic words “where’s the beef?”

It was a reminder that a good burger should include a hefty portion of beef. The campaign was a complete hit! There were even T-shirt’s, bumper stickers, frisbees and even a board game centered around the humorous slogan. People loved it.

Prove It!

In many ways, like Clara, people are looking at Christians and they aren’t impressed, saying “where’s the love?” If Christians are supposed to be like Christ, then there should be proof. They should have a good portion of love in them – and people are looking for it.

It begs the questions, are we just an oversized fluffy bun, looking like the real deal on the outside but with the bare minimum in the inside? Or, is our love popping out of us, like a big juicy burger patty that’s bigger than the bun holding it?

Oswald Chambers reminds us that what God pours in us shouldn’t be contained saying,

“it is not what we gain but what He pours through us that really counts.”

Notice he said “through” us.. We live in an age where we desire to be filled up. Many of us are looking for personal development. We desire to improve, learn, grow and mature, but Oswald reminds us that this is not God’s end goal. God’s goal is for us to be overflowing – everything that God pours in us should literally be spilling over like a big juicy burger with all the toppings. You shouldn’t be able to contain it.

show meHe goes on to compare us to fruit, as Scripture often refers to the fruits of the spirit; that we should bear fruit (noticeable proof) of the spirit of God in our lives. Just as an orange tree is of no benefit if it doesn’t actually bear oranges (or a hamburger isn’t a burger without the beef), we are not a benefit to others if we do not bear the fruits, or evidence, of Christ in our life.

Chambers goes on to say,

“God’s purpose is not simply to make us beautiful, plump grapes, but to make us grapes so that He may squeeze the sweetness out of us.”

I love this reminder that it’s not about me. While I can’t give what I don’t have and will need to continue to pursue God’s love, it’s of no real value if it’s not flowing out of me and on to others.

HamburgerThe ingredients for the typical hamburger are typically a beef patty, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup and a bun. God gives us an ingredient list for a spirit filled life and “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” – Galatians‬ ‭5:22-23‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Those all sound so pretty and almost poetic until you really think about it and look at each word closely. Love and joy sounds fun until you realize you have to love the unlovable and have joy in all circumstances. Patience is also not easy and let’s not even get started on longsuffering (defined as patiently enduring lasting offense or hardship).

While we have the right to skip some of the hamburger toppings and “have it your way”, we can’t pick and choose what fruits of the spirit we like and skip the ones we don’t like. They should all be noticeable traits developing in us daily if we want to have it His way.

He who believes in Me…out of his heart will flow… —John 7:38

Low Carb, Low Fat Brussel Sprout Chowder

I don’t know whatever made me decide to get creative and try making a chowder out of brussel sprouts but I’m sure glad I did. It was a hit at the Pfiester’s! After having 2 of my wisdom teeth removed this week (YUCK!), I decided to pull out some of my favorite mushy meals and this chowder was top on my list!

Steve came home from lunch, and while I had food prepped ground turkey and chicken, he went for the chowder and gobbled it up, bragging on how amazing it was so I thought I’d share the recipe!

Cook Up Some Low Carb High Protein Chowder!

brussel sprout chowderIngredients:
5 1/2 Cups Brussel Sprouts (fresh whole bag)
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
4 Cups Organic Chicken Broth
1 Cup white sweet frozen corn
2 Cups Shredded Seasoned Cooked Chicken
1 Cup Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
1 Tablespoons Garlic
1 Tablespoon Stevia
A Few Dashes of Cayenne Pepper for a kick
Salt to taste

Cooking Instructions

Chop brussel sprouts in halves and boil them in the Chicken Broth. Add salt and half the stevia (which cuts any bitterness of the brussel sprouts. Depending on how chunky you want your chowder, take some or most of the cooked sprouts out, with a little of the brotm, from the pot and put it in a food processor and blend until you get the consistency you desire. I like it smooth with chunks still in it.

MAKE IT CHUNKY OR MAKE IT SMOOTH!

chowderAdd the pureed goodness back into the main pot and mix it in with the broth and remaining brussel sprouts. Add all the other ingredients and let it cook on low until all the flavors are evenly distributed. Stir everything really good, working to get the greek yogurt blended. (It normally takes a bit for the greek yogurt to blend evenly with everything).

Add more or less of the broth and/or almond milk to make it thicker or soupier. I like for it to simmer for an hour or so for full flavor.

The end result should be a semi-sweet and creamy chowder with a slight kick. You can also turn this soup into a curry delight by using the same recipe and adding yellow curry. YUM!! Have fun!

 

Powercore Workout Work Your Core & More

If you are a IMG_5542member of Lift, you might have seen the POWERCORE F.I.T. Bags at the gym. They weigh 20lbs and have 5 handles so you can hold it several different ways. For example, you can hold it in the middle with both hands to do a high pull for shoulders. You can hold it with each hand on the side handles to do shoulder presses. You can clean it by holding the middle handles, which is similar placement to a clean with a barbell.

I put a little workout together so you could give it a try. These POWERCORE sequences (complex movements) start with a pull over, which works the back, chest and triceps as you pull forward and the front delts (shoulders) on the return. Then, you will start adding exercises, building upon the first exercise and end in one big functional movement where all exercises are synergistically combined. This will be the format of all 3 of these complex movements.

Watch the video demonstration to see each progression.

#1 THE POWERCORE SIT UP

Everlast POWERCORE F.I.T. Bag ExerciseThis first functional complex exercise targets the core, abs and shoulders. It also will improve flexibility and range of motion in the shoulders.

5 Pull Overs
5 Pull Overs + Sit Ups
5 Pull Overs + Sit Ups + Shoulder Press
X 3

Tip: Be sure to keep your back straight and push bag up directly overhead. Most people will want to keep the bag slightly in front of them due to limited flexibility in the shoulders. Push your self to complete good form. I have SUPER tight hamstrings and a hurt back – if I can do it, anyone can. lol It’s a stretch for me, but it was really good for me too! I struggled through it, but I can tell it is exactly what I needed!! 

#2 THE POWERCORE SQUAT THRUST

Everlast POWERCORE F.I.T. Bag ExerciseNow we take things up a notch, with more core and chest work.

5 Pull Overs
5 Pull Overs + Sit Ups
5 Pull Overs + (Sit Ups + Roll Up) combined
5 Pull Overs + Roll Ups + Plank
5 Pull Overs + Roll Ups + Plank + Push Up
5 X 3

TIP: If you try this and aren’t able to roll up, keep trying. Try moving your feet further out to give you more leverage and playing with resistance – or just try it with no weight at all. You’ll be surprised how quick you improve if you keep trying. 

#3 THE POWERCORE THRUSTER

Everlast POWERCORE F.I.T. Bag ExerciseNow we bring the legs and glutes into the mix by adding The next exercise works the full body.

5 Pull Overs
5 Pull Overs + Sit Ups
5 Pull Overs + (Sit Ups + Roll Up) combined
5 Pull Overs + Roll Ups + Cleans
5 Pull Overs + Roll Ups + Cleans + Squat
5 Pull Overs + Roll Ups + Cleans + Squat + Press
5 X 3

TIP: I’m not too happy with how my form looked in the video, but I had done it so many times by this point I was exhausted. lol However, you really can’t go wrong with this exercise. Each movement is a functional movement you do throughout the day. We sit up out of bed, we roll up off the ground, we squat down to sit and put objects up on high shelves. This exercise is a great for improving the quality of life and keeping you in a full range of motion. Beginners, just try the steps with no tools. Try to go as fast as you can. If you have to cheat (on the roll up part), cheat! You are still working out – and you’ll get stronger! 

EVERLAST POWERCORE FIT BAG

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Everlast FIT.

Is Social Media Bad For Your Health?

Reality Check

laundryHere I am standing in the gap between where I really am and where I want to be. That is the reality. I can post my best photos and my best moments, but those are just highlights in between the average, mundane reality.

Sure, I am constantly working on my health, my nutrition, my marriage, my spiritual life and my own personal development but I am still so far away from my goal. And, in reality, the bulk of the day is not filled with non-stop blissful victories and photo opps. It’s far from glamorous.

Actually, most days would look more like those moments when you open your phone and it’s still on the forward facing camera, where your nose looks twice as big as it is and you have three chins.

Accidental selfie cam viewThe fact is, my life is filled with multiple failures (like the scary self-cam moments) between my tiny successful proud moments that are few and far between.

Most days I have to rack my brain for anything interesting to post. Quite honestly, most days there is NOTHING interesting to post. My days are simply filled with daunting tasks like washing dishes, paying bills, checking emails and just living all the not-so-interesting moments we all live day after day.

Not that this would shock anyone because I’m no celebrity or anything, but I think we forget that even our coolest most admired Facebook and Instagram friends have very messy imperfect lives just like we do and they are still very much a work in progress.

The Curse of Comparison

 

“The fastest way to kill something is to compare it to something else.” — Craig Groeschel

social media pressureSadly, with social media, blog sites and the ability to create a perfect image online, we are constantly surrounded by opportunities to compare ourselves to everyone around us; people who appear fitter, happier, richer, freer, holier, stronger, better.

That is not reality and we even know it. What we see online is just a “highlight ree;” of their reality, yet we still compare ourselves away. No wonder so many of us are stressed out and depressed.

The pressure to keep up and to post something interesting every day can be overwhelming. In addition, we have the added pressure of our post being “graded” with likes and comments. A post you worked really hard on can seem to bomb and not get the “approval rating” you had hoped, only to add to your list of daily fails.

Bonnie’s Bloopers

My norm is filled with so many “oh crap” moments and those “dang it! I did it again” times. Between diet fails and meaningless petty arguments with my better half, I typically have many more fails than victories most days.

IMG_0933That is the reality behind my InstaLife and it’s the reality of everyone’s life, no matter how picture perfect it seems.

Even as a “fitness expert”, I fail time after time. I struggle to get to the gym, I don’t want to diet and I have countless grumpy, ugly moments. I may post my daily devotion but I don’t post those times I desperately want to skip church and hide out at home. I don’t share how I hit the snooze button 9 times before I finally got up (literally happened this morning). I want to do what is right, yet often find myself doing what I don’t want to do. (Sound familiar? Romans 7:15-20)

Most of us don’t post our dirty dishes or bathroom sink that is caked with soap scum, dust and hair. No way! We make sure we only post photos that are taken in the clean areas and we make darn sure we approve all photos posted online. Only the BEST gets posted right?

I think we need more blooper reels and less highlight reels. We shouldn’t be afraid to post failures. Just think of all the famous failures that inspire us today; from Henry Ford to Walt Disney. If we didn’t know their failures, we couldn’t appreciate their successes. And, more importantly, it would be better for our health.

We can eat healthy, exercise and even get enough sleep, and still be stressed to the max and completely unhealthy if we aren’t aware of how social media affects our mind and mental health.

Perceived Perfection

photoshopped celebritiesIt is a difficult time we live in where everything is photoshopped and filtered. We even apply fun filters to our candid shots to improve the way we look or to make the scene more appealing. Filters are just part of our life now.

Magazines were once the only main source of photoshopped images but now all images are improved so much you can hardly stand the way you look in the mirror because you are seeing the REAL YOU with all your flaws, as if we have forgotten what the real you looks like.

We need to make a change. We can’t change what is going on around us, but we sure as heck can change how we react to it. We need a mind shift. We need a massive reframing – a new way of looking at our world and a new way of looking at ourselves. We need it, our family needs it, our coworkers need it. We ALL need it because we are all subject to comparisons.

Reframing for Your Health

reframe your life“Reframing your perspective when you’re looking at social media can also help your mental well being. It’s helpful to remember that the updates and the photos you see only tell one side of the story”, explains Dr. Craig Dike explains in his article How to Cope with Social Media Anxiety.

Steve and I actually have been studying reframing and just finished Craig Groeschel’s Mastermind series that teaches on this important life-changing technique. (Aaaah-mazing! I posted one of the videos below if you want to learn more!)

What is reframing?

Phycology Today says to reframe is defined as “placing something in a new frame.” When we change our point of view on any given situation, the facts remain the same, but a deliberate shift is made in how we see it.

This is something we ALL need to practice. Yes, practice. It’s not something we can just change overnight, like putting on rose colored glasses and forevermore seeing things differently. It will take regular practice and won’t be easy. However, if we can master this, I believe it can radically improve our life and health.

8 Ways to Have a Healthy Social Media Life

1. FIND YOUR SOUL PURPOSE – Follow people who are dedicated to helping you to be more beautiful on the inside, not just on the outside. Surround yourself, in real life and online, with the kind of person you want to be.

2. BE MINDFUL – Follow and engage with knowledgeable people who share educated guidance that makes you think, not just hot trainers or fitness enthusiasts showing off ridiculous exercises you could never do in a million years. It’s never healthy to constantly see something that is not within reach.

3. BE INSPIRED – Find like-minded REAL people you can relate to who inspire you to reach your goals. It’s the “average Joe” who has conquered all obstacles, not the genetically gifted ones, who can remind you of your true potential.

4. BE REAL – The more real you are online, the more real people you will attract. People will appreciate your authentic feed and you will attract people who aren’t scared toe be vulnerable and honest with you.

5. TAKE OUT THE TRASH - Maybe it’s time to start unfollowing unhealthy or negative feeds. Learn to recognize the signs of unhealthy thoughts following seeing certain people or posts. Click “unfriend”, “unfollow” or “hide” to clean up your feed.

6. GET SUPPORT – Join private support groups dedicated to providing high quality content to enhance your life. There are support groups for every passion. Explore them! You never know what you will find!

7. TAKE A BREAK – Don’t be afraid to go off the air. You can even let everyone know you are taking a social media break. People will understand. I just encourage you to word it in a way everyone reading it doesn’t think you are acting self-righteous, as if everyone else staying online is a loser. Be sensitive to how you come across but also be an example. Someone else may need to follow your lead and take a break too.

8. LESS IS MORE – Do you have too many social media platforms to manage? Are you in too many facebook groups? Do you check your feeds too often? Something’s gotta give. Maybe it’s time to find tune your social media responsibilities. Social Media is not unhealthy. In fact, it can simply be amazing! Many people’s lives have been radically enhanced and changed with the help of social media. It’s how we manage social media that can be unhealthy. Turn off notifications so you aren’t constantly getting updates and limit your time online. Maybe it’s even time to decide which platforms are most important to you and table the rest.

MORE…

Change Your Filter

Check out Part 3 of Mastermind, where Pastor Craig Groeschel will show you how to reframe your situation, your story, and your relationships to thank God for what didn’t happen, pre-frame future experiences, and look for God’s goodness in every moment of your life. You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control how you frame it.

 

Spiritual Life Hacks: Run the Race Better, Faster, Easier

run the raceShortcuts

Don’t we all prefer taking shortcuts? We use Maps to tell us which route is faster. We search blogs and articles for life hacks, and look for any tips we can find to get through our crazy day with more ease.

I see this the most in the world of fitness. No one wants to work harder than they need to. We want to be faster, stronger, better but we want the quickest way to get there.

As I was reading this morning’s daily reading in Hebrews, I explored different versions and really connected with the Message version today. It’s life hacks at its best; how to run the race of life better, stronger, easier. Here are some of my favorite lines.

“Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins.”

#1 – Get rid of anything holding us back.

How often do we try to do life our way. We refuse to let go of things, bad habits, emotions, unforgiveness, relationships and heavy burdens. No wonder we run so slow. Who can run fast carrying all that luggage?

“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever.”

#2 – Stay focused on the goal.

It is SO easy to get sidetracked and distracted by the flashy shiny things in life. Whether it’s “stuff”, people, laziness, self-pity or comfort, we MUST keep our eye on the goal. And, we must “practice” and imitate our coach. We will fail, but we can always get better as long as we are following the right leader.

“don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either. It’s the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects. God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children.”

#3 – Embrace discipline.

Loving parents correct their kids – for their own good, to protect them and help them grow up.

I remember some of my friends in high school who seemed to get away with murder. They threw parties and lived a lifestyle I knew my parents would never tolerate. I remember also feeling sorry for them because I could see their parent’s selfishness in the lack of discipline. They didn’t care what their kid was doing because they were too busy dating and playing themselves. I also remember recognizing the fact I had loving parents who loved me enough to discipline me. The same goes with our heavenly Father. He loves us enough to take us just like we are but too much to let us stay there.

This text also references “training” and I can’t help but think of how a coach trains his athletes. A coaches hardest training is reserved for the kids who have the most potential. God knows our potential, so we need to let him work us so we can develop into the man or woman He desires us to be.

“At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.”

#4 – We have to keep our focus on the reward, not the work.

Discipline is HARD but moving forward without maturing in the Lord is HARDER. Our current pain and suffering can cause us to get tired and discouraged. But, just like the old saying “no pain, no gain”, we must remember it’s a requirement for growth. We can’t reap the harvest without plowing the fields. We can refuse to do the work, but we are also refusing to get the reward.

“So don’t sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!” 

#5 – Don’t drag your feet.

We often use busyness as an accepted form of procrastination (mainly me lol – I’m preachin’ to myself). But our constant busyness and even the most legitimate excuses really are just other ways to “sit around on our hands”. I look busy. I AM busy, but am I busy doing what God called me to do or what I want to do. Or worse, what others want me to do? I need to remember I can choose my busy. There’s a big difference between being busy and being productive.

Lastly, I LOVE that it says “clear the path” for others. We aren’t supposed to run this race alone. We are to help each other go the distance! We should help our friends run with more ease too. We should point out the pot holes, uneven pavement and loose shoestrings in life.

Never run your race alone.

“If you want to go FAST, go alone. If you want to go FAR, go together.” ❤

RUNNERS BEWARE: 4 Things to Consider

Bonnie PfiesterPeople are still always so shocked when I warn people not to relying on running for fat loss. So, I decided I’d share it again. This was my number one blog post of all time so I thought it was time to get it back out there so you can make the most of your workouts.

When I think of runners I think of fit people. I picture thin peeps jogging it out every day, lookin’ and feeling good – but that is not always the case. Many runners may be doing their body (and physique) more harm than good.  Although I am a runner and love the benefits of it, there can be some negative side effects if that’s all you do.

4 Things Runners Should Consider

#1 You Can Get Skinny Fat.

We’ve all seen it. A person is slim, but not fit. They jiggle in the middle, their butt sags, their thighs flab, but they wear a size 4.If you aren’t preserving muscle with resistance training and getting enough protein (I take 100-125gms a day) you could lose valuable muscle that gives you the fit and firm shape you want.

#2 Your Metabolism Can Slow Down.

tone legsOur metabolism is primarily based on our muscle mass. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest (Basal Metabolic Rate). For instance, most of our female clients burn between 1200-1300 calories at rest (Mine is BMR is 1500). I’m not muscle-bound by all means, but I do have more lean mass so I do burn more calories than I did without muscle. I am a runner, but I also do hit the weights HARD – and as you can see (that’s me on the right), my legs don’t look like a bodybuilder. Note: Resistance training is any exercise that uses resistance (weight) like weights, bands, kettlebells and power yoga or bootcamp (using your own body weight).

#3 You May Have More Noticeable Cellulite.

Name that butt. This celebrity is the beautiful Sharon Stone! However, she’s a victim of cellulite too. (NOTE: She is still beautiful and my husband still loves her!) The truth is, runners may not have MORE fat, but you could likely SEE more fat. Why? Because without the plump, tone muscle behind the fat, the pockets of fat have no support and are more noticeable.

Young runners may still enjoy the benefit of looking fit because they still have natural muscle tone, but  as you age you lose muscle, unless you are purposely maintaining it.

It’s also common in people who lose a lot of weight, because they often lose muscle with the fat. The best way to get rid of fat is with diet and cardio, but the best way to fight visible cellulite is by shaping up the legs with weights. A combination of the two is ideal.

#4 You Could Break Your Body.

Running is affordable, so some people replace the gym with running – thinking they will get the same results. Not so. It’s understandable why people would think they could keep in shape by running alone. Like I said, I LOVE running and value it, but too much of anything can be a bad thing.

When we lift weights we tear down certain body parts at a time. We work on legs one day or upper body the next, giving our body a chance to rest in between. However, runners may run every day, continually beating the body up with little rest. This is why some of our fit members, who turned into runners, are getting injured. Most of them mainly run now because now they CAN run, when it used to not even be an option before they joined our gym. However, their body can’t take the constant beating and eventually it starts screaming at them.

So runners, you can STILL run, but just be careful and work to maintain a healthy balance. You’ll not only FEEL better, you’ll look better too!

RUNNER’S PERKS:

  • Running improves your cardiovascular system, strengthening your heart and lunges
  • It lowers your blood pressure.
  • It’s convenient and affordable
  • It burns calories to aid in weight loss
  • Your body secretes mood enhancing hormones to fight depression
  • Running relieves stress
  • It also boosts confidence when you set, and reach, goals
  • Running helps smokers improve lung health and air capacity
  • It gives you a way to support various causes (Susan G. Komen, etc)
  • Runners may live longer because their heart beats up to 36,000 times less a year than an inactive person

What Do You Want?

Before you decide what exercise program you should do, you should consider your goals. We often do what is easy, cheap or what we think we can do. However, what you should do is think about the body you want and work backwards.

If you aren’t sure what type of exercise you should do to get the physique you want, contact me and I’ll help point you in the right direction!

Subscribe to my pFITblog today! (top right corner) :)

How to Use Essential Oils for Healthy Living

meyer's lavenderI’ve always tried to eat healthy and take care of my body in the gym and the kitchen, but it wasn’t until recently I started being more aware of other ways I can be healthier. One of those things is limited chemicals in my house.

For instance, I switched to natural cleaners like Meyer’s Lavender Cleaners, which I LOOOOVE! I also started relying on diffusing essential oils instead of using plug-ins and other chemical air fresheners. I had NO IDEA how unhealthy those things were!

While researching and experimenting, I have learned so much (still have loads to learn), but have really enjoyed my healthier home.

Why work SO hard to put only the healthiest things in my mouth and then completely ignore what I inhale through my lungs or apply to my skin? What can I say? I’m a slow learner.

So here are a few fun things I’ve learned that I thought I’d pass along!

Put these 6 Powerful Oils to Work

essential oilsLemon Oil - Uplifting and refreshing. Inhale to reduce symptoms of cold and cough. I love to use this while I’m working and cleaning the house. It freshens the house and energizes my body.

Peppermint Oil - Naturally uplifting yet calming. Apply topically to relieves joint pain, muscle pain and digestive discomfort. Cools the body after a workout. This is another energizing oil I enjoy diffusing in my office.

Eucalyptus Oil – Inhale to relieves headaches by diffusing or applying to chest. Add a couple of drops to your bath. This is a great oil during allergy season!

Lavender Oil – Inhale to calm, unwind and relax. Use with Sleep Spray for improved sleep. My favorite oil of all. I feel like I am in a spa! While it’s not stimulating, I love burning it while I’m working, especially if I am having a stressful day. One shot of Ionix (natural stress reliever) and a few drops of Lavender in my diffuser makes a stressful day fade away!

TIP: Put a couple of drops of Lavender Essential Oil on the inside of your toilet paper roll and get a burst of fragrance every time you use it!

Tea Tree Oil - Helps reduce symptoms for cold and cough. Purifies and nourishes the air and skin. Mix with water, witch hazel or oil and dab on trouble spots to treat acne. Add 3-4 drops to your shampoo to fight dandruff. Too many uses for this bad boy!

Frankincense Oil - Inhale to decompress and relax. Apply topically to promote healthy looking skin. I’ve heard rumors it is great for erasing scars, treating acne and smoothing out wrinkles. I’ll be putting that one to the test for sure! I’m not getting any younger! LOL!

DIY – Baking Soda Air Freshener

DIY-Air-FreshenerI found this great way to replace standard air freshener gels, etc by making your own healthier version using baking soda, which is a very effective as an odor absorber.

All you need is:

  • Baking soda
  • Essential Oils
  • A small glass jar with vented lid

Instructions:

  1. Fill the jar with baking soda and add the essential oil, using 6 drops per tablespoon of baking soda.
  2. Place the jar in the room you want to naturally freshen and deodorize the air.
  3. Replace it when the baking soda begins to harden or gets clumpy

Source: Natural Living Ideas

Let’s Talk Cost

Since I am still new to oils, I decided to to my homework and see how our Isagenix oils compared to leading essential oil brands. Granted, companies specializing purely in oil may have more variety, but I was stoked to see we beat everyone in price while maintaining and even exceeding quality.

essential oil comparison chart

Essential Oil Quality

Isagenix used third party testing company to analyze top oil products on the market and applies their No Compromise Policy to their new Essence essential oil line to compare to meet and exceed quality.

 

Fitness: For Better or For Worse

for better for worseWhat is your relationship with fitness? Is it like marriage or an unstable love affair? Do you love it when it’s easy and convenient or are you committed to it no matter what?

I think most people treat fitness like an on-again-off again boyfriend. When you get down and lonely, you run to your fitness friend but as soon as things get rough and complicated, you leave it faster than a toupee in a hurricane.

Fitness requires commitment. While it can be fun, it’s not something you do just for fun. It’s not something you do on only the good days or when you feel like it. It’s something you commit to doing no matter what. Like a job, you will have days you don’t want to show up. But, like a job, if you want the pay-off, you have to keep showing up.

200 Calorie Low-Carb Tex-Mex Breakfast

Spice things up in the morning with zesty low-cal mini quiches. They are super easy to make and perfect for life on the run. Make a batch of crustless quiches and turkey bacon over the weekend, and reheat them in seconds for a quick and easy breakfast on the go during the busy week!

Ingredients:

Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper MIni QuicheQuiche:

1 1/2 c Egg Whites (liquid egg white)

1/2 c Califia Coconut Almond Milk

1/3 c Diced Vidalia Onions

1 3/4 c Chopped and Drained Spinach

1/4 c Parmesan Cheese

6-8 Roasted Red Pepper Pieces (diced)

2 tsp Cilantro

1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

1 tsp Cumin

Topping:

1 Medium Tomato (thinly sliced)

12 Slices Jalapeño

1/4 c Shredded Four Cheese Mexican Blend

Salt & Pepper to taste

Spray your muffin pan with Pam and preheat the oven to 375. Mix all the ingredients together except for the toppings. Pour mixture into muffin pan and top each quiche with 1 thinly sliced tomato, a sprinkle of cheese and one sliced jalapeño. Sprinkle with salt and garnish with fresh cilantro or a sliver of avocado. Bake for 25 minutes or until quiche is nice and firm. Let it sit before serving.

Top with a dollop of light sour cream, thinly sliced avocado or fresh salsa and serve with 2 strips of turkey bacon for a low-carb, low-cal breakfast.

3 quiches and 2 slices of turkey bacon is only 207 calories!

Here is a screen shot of my breakfast in LoseIt!

LoseIt Low-Cal Breakfast

 

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