Saturday, December 8, 2007

Don't Drink Your Calories

The average person’s beverage consumption equals approximately 20% of their total caloric intake on a daily basis. In other words, many of us are drinking our calories!

What have you had to drink today? Did you have a big glass of orange juice w/breakfast? Or just the juice? Did you stop at Starbucks and get a venti drink of your choice? Or you might enjoy a smoothie from your favorite smoothie chain. Maybe you drink black coffee with sugar and cream at home or the office?

A Venti Peppermint Mocha made with 2% milk and whipped cream is a whopping 480 calories and 17g of fat. If you get it nonfat with no whipped cream it’s till 360 calories but only 3.6g of fat. Still, that’s way too many calories for one beverage. You could have a large, healthy breakfast for all those calories, not to mention the nutritional boost from eating real, healthy food.

When I go to Starbucks I get drip coffee and add my own cream and no calorie sweetener. That way I know exactly what I’m getting in my cup.

Many people think that juice, since it’s from fruit, is healthy. But juice contains a lot of calories and sugar and little of the nutrition of the whole fruit, unless you have a juicer and juiced the whole fruit for that glass of juice you enjoy. Eating a whole apple, orange or cup of berries has about a third or the calories of the same juice and has all the fiber, vitamins and antioxidants without the sugar shock.

You would think that a smoothie is a great choice as a beverage or meal replacement. However, most smoothies from your favorite smoothie shop are again loaded with a lot of calories and sugar. Sure there’s a lot of fruit in them but many are made with ice cream or sherbets or sorbets which equal a lot of sugar. Look at the nutrition information on your favorite smoothie the next time you stop in for one. You might be shocked that your healthy treat is not so healthy with the average regular size smoothie having approximately 400 calories.

I had to stop getting my favorite protein smoothie about a year ago. It was originally 400 calories (regular size) with 50g of protein and 20 carbs. I’d get the small size which saved me 100 calories. Unless you’re a body builder you don’t need 50g of protein in one sitting. Sounds good right? But then a lab tested the nutrition facts of each smoothie and my favorite was now 600 calories!!! So I don’t even go there anymore. I can mix up a protein shake in my own kitchen in just a minute or two that has only 190 calories and almost no fat.

Of course we all know that soda is filled with sugar and empty calories unless you drink diet. Choosing sugar-free beverages is a good choice but nothing hydrates you like water.

I realize many of you don’t like to drink water or get bored with water. It’s just one of those things you have to learn to like for your health if nothing else.

Water is the only beverage that helps regulate body temperature, keeps you regular, flushes out toxins, boosts your metabolism, and improves organ function. So if you have trouble drinking adequate amounts of water jazz it up with a squeeze of lemon or a little cranberry juice to add flavor.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

How to Eat Pizza While Dieting

or otherwise called "The Pizza Trick".

This is a trick that I came up with while trying I was losing weight. It's hard to never have pizza when you have 3 children at home!

Order whatever pizza you like...ok, maybe not. I mean regular pizza, not stuffed pizzas or piles of meat, etc. I mean like pepperoni, or supreme, or barbecue chicken, or my favorite...veggie supreme (and I'm a carnivore!). You get the idea.

Now here's the trick. Eat one whole piece of pizza, crust and all. Now you can eat 3 or 4 more pieces if you're really that hungry, but ONLY, that's right...ONLY! the toppings. You won't miss the crust I promise.

I'm also assuming you're having something else besided just pizza such as a salad or some other kind of colorful vegetables. It should be a well-balanced meal even if pizza is the main course.


Monday, October 15, 2007

7 Benefits of Drinking Coffee

I found this great article on Yahoo about coffee. Read on:

Coffee lovers may be raising their cups at the growing stream of positive news about their favorite drink. For healthy adults, having two or three cups of joe daily generally isn’t harmful and it may have health perks. Some recent findings even suggest that coffee may help lower the risk of diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

A cup of coffee contains about 1 gram of soluble fiber, the type that can help lower cholesterol, according to a recent report in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Recent Harvard studies, involving more than 193,000 people, found that regular coffee drinkers had a significantly lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who abstained. The more they drank, the lower their risk.

Despite coffee’s reputation for being bad for the heart, recent epidemiologic studies haven’t found a connection; some even suggest coffee can be protective. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that healthy people 65 and over who drank four or more cups of caffeinated beverages daily (primarily coffee) had a 53 percent lower risk of heart disease than non-coffee-drinkers.

Coffee has more antioxidants per serving than blueberries do, making it the top source of antioxidants in our diets. Antioxidants help quell inflammation, which might explain coffee’s effect in inflammation-related diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

Magnesium found in coffee might help make cells more sensitive to insulin (increased insulin sensitivity results in healthier blood glucose levels).

Caffeine seems to have its own beneficial effects; the diabetes studies found that those who drank regular coffee had lower risks of the disease than decaf drinkers.

Caffeinated-coffee drinking has also been linked with reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease, gallstones, cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Bottom Line:

For most people who enjoy coffee, there’s no reason to cut back; there may even be health benefits. However, for some, exceeding one’s caffeine tolerance—which varies—can cause irritability, headache and insomnia. The temporary rise in heart rate and blood pressure could cause problems for people with heart disease, and new moms should be aware that caffeine passes into breast milk.

The original article URL:

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Boost Your Metabolism

What a lot of people do when they want to lose weight is to stop eating or only once or twice a day. This makes no sense. Your body is an incredibly intelligent machine and can recognize when it's not getting enough fuel in order to function properly.

The first thing that happens when you don't eat enough calories on a daily basis is that you start to store fat. And then your metabolism slows down. So not only are you storing fat but you're burning less calories than you were before you were dieting.

In order to boost your metabolism and burn fat all day long, eat at least 5 times a day, or about ever 3 hours while you're awake. That's right. Eat 5 times a day. Three meals and two healthy snacks.

Make sure those meals have little or no white food: potatoes, white bread, pasta, white rice, etc. and you'll burn even more fat.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Foods You Can't Live Without

In my previous post (#1 Rule of Dieting) I suggested you make a list of your favorite foods.

Now take a look at your list. If there aren't at least 10 vegetables and 6 - 8 fruits you either love, like, or will tolerate then add them to your list right now. Next cross off anything that is made of white flour such as white bread, pastries, or anything with sugar as a main ingredient, etc. Cross off white rice. Also cross off potatoes; you will eat those very sparingly. Cross off corn and any boxed snack foods that contain more than 100 calories per serving.

(Those 100 Calorie Packs are genius! Find some you like. My favorite: Chips Ahoy.)

On your list you should have dairy (or non-dairy substitutes if necessary), protein sources including eggs, vegetables, fruits, whole grain breads and whole grain foods such as oatmeal.

If you're like me you have a pretty full list of nutritious foods to choose from. write down the one or two foods you can't live without.

If having a glass of red wine with dinner or having dessert once a week is the thing will keep you on your weight loss program long enough to reach your goal, then by all means don't deprive yourself from something you can't live without.

I can't live without chocolate but I know many low-calorie or healthier chocolate foods that I can have on a regular basis and remain a happy camper while following a sensible diet.

If your "can't live without it" food (c'mon, you have to limit it to no more than 2) is really unhealthy then find a healthier version or learn to make a healthier version. Learning to feed yourself healthy food choices is part of the learning curve of a good diet.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

My Story and Qualifications

Diet Weight Loss Fitness Expert

I am a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer.
My focus is on corrective exercise, exercise for weight loss, and reaching your
goals in a timely and safe fashion without you feeling like you're killing yourself. I fix people and I love doing it!

But before I found my passion and purpose...

In November 2001, I weighed 291 Ibs. and wore size 26 clothes. I had been very
overweight for about 8 years. I went to the doctor the day before Thanksgiving and
was shocked at what I weighed. I weighed 276 when I delivered my youngest child
2 years earlier and now I weighed 15 Ibs. more!

The day after Thanksgiving 2001, I decided it was time to do something about my weight. It's not that I was inactive but I wasn't active enough and I ate way, way, way too much on top of that. I did not want to join a gym mostly because I had three young children at home and I didn't want to have to cart them around nor did I want to pay for child care while I was working out. I had an elliptical machine at home so I started doing that 20 minutes every other day. I started watching what I ate a little more but I wasn't dieting.

After 6 weeks, I decided to try Tae Bo. I hated it at first but after three or four times started liking it. I would do 30 minutes on my elliptical machine one day and 30 minutes of Tae Bo the next day. I was working out 30 minutes 6 days a week and feeling great. By the middle of January 2002 I had already lost 18 Ibs. So I started watching my diet even more, eating more vegetables and fruit and less sugar, bread, pasta, rice and junk food, and smaller

In March I started running with a group of ladies from church. I would wake up at 5:45 a.m. three days a week and run/walk 3 miles. I continued to do Tae Bo on the alternate days. The first week or two it was all I could do to walk that far and starting to jog was something I had to work at. (I swore at one point when I was younger that I would never run again because I had run about 10,000 miles while playing basketball as a kid.) But I realized I enjoyed running and decided I would run a 5K race because I needed a goal to help me keep running. I did
my first 5K race in July and to date I have run a lot of 5K and 10K races and 6 half marathons.

In April, I started to see ads for a Curves gym opening up in Redmond and I was excited to try it out. I had previously belonged to a gym that had a circuit training room and I absolutely love circuit training as a workout. I wanted to see how the Curves circuit worked. At that point I had already lost about 50 lbs. in 5 months and I was thrilled.

I went down on the second day of the grand opening and noticed there was a "Help Wanted" sign on the door. I applied for the job and was hired the very next day. I worked three evenings a week and Saturdays. I loved it and found out that I had fallen into the perfect job for me. After trying the Curves diet plan I lost 5 Ibs. in the first week and never looked back. I was never hungry and I was losing about 2 1/2 Ibs. a week. I had tons of energy and felt fabulous.

While working out at Curves I noticed that my body became firm and toned in almost no time. I was working out at Curves 3X a week and running 3 miles, 3X a week. I was losing an average of 12 lbs., 10 inches and 2.5 % body fat per month. In just 5 months I had lost 70 more lbs.

I lost 120 Ibs., 48+ inches, and 12% body fat in 10 1/2 months and I've managed to maintain my weight loss for 5 years. I'm a real woman with a real body and a real life. I worked hard consistently and didn't let anything stop me from reaching the goal I set for myself. I still workout 5 to 6 days week most weeks and I still watch my diet. I have three kids and a busy life outside of my personal training and managing a women's gym.

In September 2002 I was offered the job of managing the Curves in the Houghton neighborhood of Kirkland, WA. We opened in January 2003 and I managed that location for three years. In those three years I had the privilege of helping many, many women work toward and reach (and at times surpass!) their fitness and weight loss goals. I have met so many people I never would have known if it had not been for Curves. During the time I managed that location it was the largest Curves franchise in the state of Washington.

I decided to leave my position at the Houghton Curves in February 2006 to pursue other opportunities but I stayed on to teach the diet class. After leaving Curves, I worked with the owner of a private gym in Bothell to help increase membership and make the business profitable. I also worked as a Personal Trainer at Gold's Gym and in-home personal training.

Last October I was asked to manage the Curves in Woodinville and I'm glad I made the
decision to return to Curves. I really believe in what Curves offers women, the Curves philosophy, the Curves workout, diet and nutritional products. I still do in-home personal training as well.

I love to support, educate, and motivate people and help you have fun doing it! I want to encourage you to figure out what it is you really want to accomplish and why and "Just Do It"! If you have fitness and weight loss goals you would like my help with, please let me know. I have the knowledge and experience to help you reach those goals.

I'm happy to give you tips, pointers, and advice. Your success is my joy!

Keep sweating and remember to smile!

The #1 Rule Of Dieting

Did you know that the number one rule of dieting is to eat the foods you like? Now that doesn't mean that if you like to eat two bowls of ice cream every night and pastries for breakfast that you're gonna be in diet heaven. You're obviously smart enough to know that any diet like that isn't one that will help you lose weight.

For example, if I told you I have a revolutionary weight loss plan that guarantees you will lose 25 lbs. in one month, you would be all over it! And then I told you the diet consisted of anchovies and sauerkraut for every meal you might still attempt it but you probably wouldn't stick to it for more than a day, if that long.

But, if you were given some basic guidelines for a diet and could still eat your favorite *healthy* foods and on occasion indulge in less healthy selections you could probably stick to it and see the kind of results you are looking for in a weight loss plan.

So, make a list of your favorite foods (bacon is on mine!)and come back soon for more diet tips!