Monday, October 4, 2010

Extremely Low Fat Pumpkin-Cranberry Bread

Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees
Grease a Glass Bread Loaf dish with 1 Tsp Earth Balance Margarine( This is the only Fat in the Recipe!)
Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Egg Whites
1 Cup Pumpkin Puree (I use Organic Pumpkin)
1/2 Cup Cinnamon Applesauce (Regular is OK)
1/2 Cup Honey
1/2 Cup Organic Sugar
21/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour (Try Gluten Free Flour if you need to)
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Salt
2 Cups Fresh Whole Cranberries
Method: 
Mix Dry Ingredients and set aside
Mix Wet Ingredients with a whisk
Add Dry ingredients to wet and mix until incorporated
Fold in Cranberries and bake in pre-greased Glass Bread dish
Bake for 1 hour & 15 minutes or until done.
Cool in pan
Slice & eat warm with low fat whipped cream cheese or a low sugar jam of choice
I just had some the next morning with my coffee and it is very moist & yummy without anything on top!
Serves 8 with .3 grams of fat per serving :)  :)  :)  :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fresh Gazpacho

It is still Summer here in L.A. and it is a good idea to keep the oven off and I don't want to stand around the grill. so here is my recipe for Gazpacho. It is easy to make and make it the day before eating so the spices can mingle.
Serves 8
Ingredients:
3 # Organic Roma tomatoes, Peeled, Seeded and chopped (Or 2 large cans diced tomatoes)
Tomato juice
1 English Cucumber, unpeeled but seeded and chopped
1 large organic Red Bell Pepper or you can use 1/2 Green & 1/2 Red Bell Peppers
1 Medium Bermuda Onion, Chopped
2 Small Jalepeno Peppers, seeded and minced
2 Medium Garlic Cloves, minced
2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Limes, juiced
1T Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tsp Ground Cumin
Salt to taste or no salt at all is OK too
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 Large very Ripe Avocado cut into 8 sections
Herbs for Garnish: Cilantro, Basil or Parsley or all three if desired.
Method:
Peel and Seed tomatoes by boiling a large pot of water, put an X on the bottom of each tomato, plunge in hot water for about 30 seconds and place tomatoes in a  large bowl of ice water. The peel will remove easily. Slice tomatoes in half and seed over a strainer & reserve all of the tomato juice. Add enough tomato juice to equal 2 cups.Chop tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Or you can use 2 Large cans of chopped tomatoes-so much easier, but not as flavorful :)
Add all other ingredients and combine. May be placed in either a fodd processor or blender to blend in batches (can keep the consistancy chunky if preferred). Return blended mixture to a bowl and refridgerate overnight. Serve very cold from the fridge garnished with Cilantro, Basil or Italian Parsley and a slice of Avocado.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Decadent Dark Chocolate and Pear Crunch

Now that Autumn is approaching I bought a big bag of organic Bartlett pears and they were about to go bad (according to some people) I thought it would be a perfect time for a new and decadent (tasting) dessert. The fat comes from 1T of Earth Balance an 2 ounces of 72% cocoa dark chocolate and depending on the granola you choose to use. I used Organic Mango Passion Granola from Trader Joe's and Cascadian Farms. The Recipe serves 8 people and it has approx. 6 grams of fat per serving (if served with sorbet) 
Portion Control is the key to a Healthier Life
Ingredients:
1T Earth Balance Organic Margarine-divided
10 Organic Very ripe Bartlett Pears (Or any other pears that you have on hand)
1/2 Lemon
2/3 Cup organic fruited granola
2/3 Cup plain granola
(You may use the granola of your choice-Gluten Free is available at the health food store)
1/2 cup Organic oats
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 Ounces 72% Dark Chocolate
2T Brown Sugar
1T Honey
Method:
Wash your Hands because you are going to want to lick them very soon :)
Butter a 16X10 Glass Baking Dish with 1 tsp Earth Balance margarine
Wash, Peel, core & slice the pears and toss with juice of 1/2 lemon
Place evenly in  the buttered dish
Prepare Topping:
Place in a large Ziplock bag the granola, oats and cinnamon. Using a rolling pin roll out the mixture in bag until crumbly and place in a bowl
Chop up Dark Chocolate and add to the granola mixture
Melt 2 tsp Margarine and add 2TBS Brown Sugar and 1TBS Honey and whisk until sugar is melted
Add melted butter/sugar mixture to the granola with chocolate and mix with fingers
Top the pear mixture with the chocolate granola and bake @ 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
Lick your Fingers :)
Serve with Chocolate Sorbet or Vanilla Rice Dream

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Chicken Parmesan-A Healthier Version

Ingredients:
1 Recipe Simple Tomato Sauce -Recipe written on 5/16/10 OR 1 Jar Marinara Sauce from the market
4 Medium Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1/2 cup egg whites
1/4 cup fine, Italian bread crumbs
2 ounces total shredded, Low Fat Mozzarella Cheese (1/2 ounce per cutlet)
Parmesan Cheese to sprinkle on top

Method:
Prepare simple tomato sauce and cook for at least 15 minutes OR just open the jar from the market
Oil (with a little olive oil) and heat a baking pan in 350 oven
Whip up egg whites and set aside
Place bread crumbs onto a flat plate
Dip Each Chicken Breast in the egg whites then the bread crumbs and place on heated baking pan in oven
Bake for 10 minutes and turn cutlets and cook for 10 more minutes until they look crispy
In a glass baking dish, cover the bottom with sauce-Add the chicken-Pour more sauce over the chicken-Place mozzarella on the cutlets and sprinkle with Parmesan.
Bake @ 350 for 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is bubbling...
Serve with a Mixed Greens Salad  with Vinaigrette Dressing


MODERATION IS ALWAYS THE KEY WHEN IT COMES TO THE FOOD PART OF FITNESS!
IT IS KNOWING HOW TO TAKE IT OFF THE NEXT TIME @ THE GYM :)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Fitness Trainer's I don't have a car today @ Home work out

I always try to look at the bright side of life..and try to help others do that too. I don't have a car today and I live in LA. I could complain, but that is not so productive. So, as I have done in the past 5 years or so, I take the reins in on the self pity and do something just for me and exercise. I feel blessed to be self motivated. Here is what I did on a very pleasant day in the Western San Fernando Valley.. It is all how you look at it :)
I took my 12 year old Jack Russell Terrier for her 1st walk since her ACL surgery 8 1/2 weeks ago. We walked 1/2 block very slowly much to her chagrin. Got home in 10 minutes and this was good for her!
I then changed for warmer weather, Stretched,  filled up my water bottle with filtered water and and Emergen-C joint health and went for a walk in the neighborhood. 2.5 miles total with interval walking & jogging. I jogged the hills (all both of them) and sprinted for the last 1/2 block. Had a good sweat going, but not as good as I can get at the gym on the machines with my music on. I would rather listen to nature in the neighborhood and like to hear when the cars are coming :)
At Home Workout: Upper Body and Abs:
Stretch
With a 8# Medicine ball rotate side to side to open up spine. I have 6 moves I like to perform
On Stability Ball: Laying with the ball between shoulder Blades-
Chest Presses/15#Dumbbells 3 Sets 20 Reps
Pullovers/15#Dumbbells 3 Sets 20 Reps
Biceps/15# Dumbbells 3 Sets 20 Reps
1 Arm Row with opposite knee and hand on ball/15# Dumbbells 2 Sets 20 Reps
Crunches on Ball-3 Sets of 25 Reps
Oblique Crunches-3 Sets of 25 Reps each side
Abs on Mat: Legs Lifts/Reverse Crunches/Obliques (I made up a great new move)/Bicycles
Stretch for about 15 minutes
Rest
Nutrition + Water

Thursday, August 26, 2010

STANDING IN FRONT OF THE MIRROR, NAKED!

OK, Now I have your attention.??? this is what I did when I was so fed up with myself. I stood in front of a full length mirror, naked and cried. Yet, another Ah Ha moment! When I was 47 years old, it took a message via my husband via my daughter to kick my big butt in gear and change my life forever. Something in my mind changed radically and I wish I could bottle that up and patent it! I spent my entire life yo-yoing with my weight gain and loss. The losses were never as much as the gaining until my mind took over and this is what I wish would happen to everyone out there who is struggling with obesity, depression and a various amount of health problems in the world. One has to soul search and use the power of your own mind to control your own life. This cannot be taught. It must come from within. "Optimal Fitness is Achieved Through the Infinite Power of Your Mind"..my mantra, my bible, my life. I am rich in soul and spirit and I rely upon myself (and a few, selected others) to stick to it forever. It is not that hard.  Getting started is challenging, intimidating, self pitying and alas when a year goes by with discipline, I was75 pounds lighter, less depressed and finally noticed by the people around me. When you are obese, people look at you with disdain or they just look right through you like you do not exist.. This is no way to live life to it's fullest. It is really not that hard. Exercise 3-4 days per week and eat with portion control, wholesome foods. It is a recipe for success! I love helping others achieve their goals and if I am able to inspire just one other human being, I have peace within myself.
Love and Best Wishes,
Karen

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Easy Artichoke and Garbanzo Bean Salad

 















Ingredients:
 2 Cans Garbanzo Beans, rinsed and drained
2 Cans Artichoke Hearts, rinsed and drained
1 Large Red Bell Pepper sliced
2 T Diced Bermuda (red) Onion
1/2 Cup chopped Celery
2 T Balsamic Vinaigrette* Recipe to Follow
2 T Each Fresh Basil and Fresh Oregano, Chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 head Romain Lettuce, cleaned and torn into large pieces
Method:
Mix All ingredients except lettuce together in a medium size bowl
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours
Stir before serving
Serve on a Bed of Romain Lettuce
*Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1 tsp. Dijon style mustard
1/2 tsp. each Salt (optional) & Pepper
1/2 cup each Cold Pressed, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
In a measuring cup add the mustard and salt & pepper and stir constantly with a fork or a whisk while adding the vinegar then the oil until mixed thoroughly.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

High Fiber Ham & Bean Soup

High Fiber=Happy Disposition!  30 Grams per day of fiber is not so hard to do. Again, reading labels is in the forefront of my mind. I added a fiber drink every night before bedtime. It is a hard swallow, but, "drink it quickly" passes through my mind in those 30 seconds it takes to down the stuff!
I know it's summer, but soup is so easy and if you have the ingredients in the house, why not? It quells hunger really great too.
Ham & Bean Soup:
Ingredients:
4 Cups defatted Chicken Broth
1 tsp Olive Oil
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 small Onion, diced
1 large Tomato-seeded & diced
1 large Zucchini sliced
1 can rinsed Pinto Beans
1 cup Arugula
Salt & Pepper to taste
Fesh Herbs such as oregano, basil lemon thyme or what every you have on hand
8 ounces no nitrate/nitrite ham (lunch meat is OK)
Method:
Saute garlic, onion & zucchini in a little olive oil or 1 Tbs.chicken broth
Add tomatoes and cook for 1 minute
Add remainder of Chicken Broth
Add rinsed Beans and Ham and cook for about 10-15 minutes
Salt & Pepper & herbs to taste
Add arugula and simmer for about 5 minutes
Serve

Saturday, July 17, 2010

New Life-New Post

The last time I wrote on my blog was 1 week before my life changed very dramatically. On May 24, 2010 I was admitted to Motion Picture Hospital in Woodland Hills with a condition called Diverticulitis. When I speak of what happened to me most everyone had a relative who has come down with this life threatening disease of the lower (left) intestine. So, yes it is very common ailment and in my perspective now it is very avoidable. 1 year ago I had my first colonoscopy. They say to get this done routinely when you turn 50..I waited until I was 52. It was a very unpleasant experience which I will not go into at the moment. When I was given (hunted down) the results 2 months later I was to that I had a condition named Diverticulosis and that it is very common in older adults (Geez thanks!) and that here was nothing I could really do about it and that in some cases it turns into Diverticulitis. I was also told that in recent studies that diet was really not a factor in developing the disease and that in the past, nuts and seeds were removed from the diet to avoid that horrible awful abdominal pain associated with it. So lucky me, I kept up my "clean" diet and always ate my roasted almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, etc. and also berries of all kinds and tomatoes too. I reached my goal in fitness a week before I was stricken. I was popping cherry tomatoes like crazy as well as strawberries, blackberries and nuts for nutritious snacks and then it happened..the cramping the fever for 2 days and then saw my physician on Monday. Something in the front of my mind was to pick the right doctor at Motion Picture and I chose the head of the Dept and So happy I have a 6th sense sometimes! After the horribleness of all the tests I underwent, 6 hours later I was told what I had and then started the IV for 2 whole days..Enough about Me!!!!!!! HAHAHAHA
It is July 17, 2010 and I am feeling much better and WILL NEVER EAT NUTS AND SEEDS AGAIN!!!!!
Moral of this story: listen to your body, don't believe everything a Dr. tells you and don't wallow too long about your experience, it is just not productive. Get back on your horse and ride again..I am back up to speed on my cardio and am so addicted to it. I am clean eating and seeding the tomatoes at least..c'mon I am Italian!!!!!!
Talk to me people!
Love all of my followers XXXXOOOO

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Zucchini Lasagna

This is an excellent alternative to Lasagna made with noodles. You may prepare this with browned lean beef or turkey, but I like to have a couple of days per week that I don't consume any meat. It makes me feel lighter and helps me to maintain my weight loss.

Zucchini Lasagna:
Materials needed:
1 Large Glass Baking Dish
1 Medium Sauce Pan
Cutting Board
Sharp Knife
Cheese Grater
Ingredients:
4-6 Large Organic Zucchini Squash, sliced into 1" circles
2 Quarts Tomato Sauce (Jarred has more sodium) Recipe to Follow
2 Cups Mozzarella (part skim) cheese, grated
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
*(Ground Beef or Turkey:Optional)
Method:
Layer in Glass Dish in order:
Sauce-Sliced Zucchini-Cheese
*If using Meat or Turkey, saute in medium pan with 2 tsp olive oil & garlic until browned & drain and add to the tomato sauce.
Top layer should be the remainder of cheese and the 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
You may garnish with fresh parsley or basil before baking
Bake @ 350 degrees for approx 45 minutes or until it is bubbling and the cheeses are turning slightly golden

This recipe feeds 8 people or 2 servings each for 4 people and so on.................

Simple Tomato Sauce:
 2 pounds Fresh Roma Tomatoes-*cored, peeled & seeded
1 Bunch Fresh Basil Washed and chopped
 2 Tbs Fresh Oregano
1 Tbs Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil
2 Cloves Fresh Garlic
Salt & pepper to taste
Method:
Saute Garlic in olive oil
Add Fresh Herbs
Add Peeled and sliced tomatoes
Cook at low to medium heat for at least 1 hour. Can be cooked up to 6 hours, Stirring occasionally
* To peel Roma tomatoes: Core. Cut a cross on the other end of tomato. Dunk into boiling water and blanche for a minute until the cross looks loose. Carefully remove the tomatoes from the boiling water in plunge into a large pot full of ice water. The skins remove very easily. Seeding is optional. Slice and cook.

2 Healthy Cookie Recipes To Die For

These 2 recipes are a staple around the holiday's in my home, so from my home to yours:
(Of Course the ingredients have to be healthy :) )
Oatmeal-Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies:
Preheat Oven to 375 degrees
Ingredients:
1 Tub Organic Earth Balance Margarine
2 Cups Organic Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
1 Cup Organic Raw Sugar or Granulated Sugar
4 Egg Whites
2 Tbsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
3 Cups Organic Whole Wheat Flour (Or Unbleached All Purpose Flour)
2 Tsp Baking soda
1 Tsp Salt (optional)
6 Cups Organic Oats
2 Cups Organic Dried Cranberries
1, 12 Ounce Package White Chocolate Chips
Method:
Beat margarine and sugars until creamy
Add egg whites and vanilla and beat well
Combine dry ingredients and add to egg/sugar mixture
Stir in Oats , Cranberries and Chips
Place on ungreased cookie sheet with a tablespoon
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until Golden Brown Turning cookie sheet  at 5 the minute mark
Cool on Pan for at least 10 minutes and transfer to baking rack to cool completely
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Chocolate Chip Cookies:
Preheat Oven to 375 degrees
Ingredients:
4.5 Cup Organic Whole Wheat Flour or Unbleached All Purpose Flour
2 Tsp Baking Soda
2 Tsp Salt
2 cups Organic Earth Balance Margarine
1.5 cups Organic raw sugar (or granulated)
1.5 Cups Organic Brown Sugar
2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
4 Egg Whites
24 Ounces (2 Bars) 85% Dark Chocolate, Chopped into morsel size pieces
2 cups Toasted Walnuts, Chopped

Method:
Toast the Walnuts and set aside before chopping
Combine Dry ingredients
Beat Margarine, Sugars and Vanilla
Add egg whites slowly while stirring
Beat in dry ingredients with the egg/sugar mixture
Stir in chocolate chopped nuts
Bake 9-11 minutes turning tray half way
Cook on pan then transfer to rack


You will enjoy these!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Chocolate/Almond Protein Shake

The Protein Powder that I choose is "Designer Whey". This is the best tasting Protein Powder that I have found and it is also not as high in Protein (18 grams per scoop) as the other products on the market. High Protein tends to upset my stomach and this product mixes easily and is absorbed readily into your body . I use the Vanilla and Chocolate. It is available at Target for under $20 for 1.72 Pounds/28 servings, that's .71 a serving. Other flavors are available at Rite Aid and smaller containers are sold at Trader Joe's.
I just made this quick and easy shake to stave off my hunger because who knows what time dinner is tonight.Put in Blender and Blend: (BTW-I have been using my good old, cheap Hamilton Beach for years and it does a great job!)
1 Cup Organic, unsweetend, Vanilla Almond Milk
1 TBS Coconut or Soy Creamer (optional-adds fat)
1 Scoop Chocolate Protein Powder
3-4 Ice Cubes

190 Calories
19 Grams Protein
3.5 Grams Fat (or less)
18 Grams Carbohydrates (or less)
15 Grams Sugar (Less if creamer is removed)
60 Mg Cholesterol
220 Mg Sodium
310 Mg Potassium

100% Delicious!

6 Small Meals: Example for Weight Loss

If you haven't heard by now, it is essential to eat every 3 hours to have a successful weight loss & diet plan. It fights hunger which is the culprit to diet failure. Eating every 2-3 hours or so with plenty of water revs up the metabolism. When you wait until you are starving to eat, you most certainly eat more and usually end up in gastric distress. Here is an example of my diet plan:

Before Breakfast:
1 glass of cool water with a pro biotic supplement (some require you to take after eating)

Breakfast:
1 cup Organic Oatmeal made with water
Add about 1 scoop of Whey Protein Powder
1 T roasted, chopped almonds
1/4 cup organic raisins or cranberries OR 1/2 mashed banana
Coffee or Green Tea
Vitamins (Multiple Vitamin/Calcium + D/Salmon Oil/Cranberry/Glucosamine-Chondroitin)
Take Vitamins with Water

ALREADY I HAVE HAD 2 GLASSES OF WATER!

Snack:
During my work out, I usually have a Small Apple + 24 Oz Water + 1 packet Emergen-C-Joint Health (in 8 ounces water)
After my workout I plan to eat with in 30 minutes or have a Protein Shake or a protein bar (watch out for sugar)

Lunch:
Large Salad made with lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, celery, bell pepper, sprouts, cucumber, mushrooms or anything you really want in a salad.
Add 6 ounces of protein like a grilled, boneless, skinless chicken breast
Use dressing sparingly or go light with olive oil and balsamic vinegar-1 TBS each
Drink water or tea

Snack:
String Cheese & Whole grain crackers (2)
Water

Dinner:
Broiled Wild Salmon made with a little olive oil, fresh garlic and herbs
2 cups steamed broccoli with lemon
Water or herbal non-caffeine tea

Night time Snack
Protein shake with water, powder and ice

Notice that I have incorporated 8 glasses of water per day. Everyone is different. this is why I drink about 16 glasses of water a day to replace what I have sweat and to keep my Diverticulitis in check.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hi-Protein Bean & Tomato Salad

I just made this salad..I call it something from nothing which I often find myself faced with. I make up recipes from the ingredients I already have in the house. It can be hit or miss, but mostly, a hit with my family! :)
Beans are an excellent source of protein and an alternative to Meat. When beans are combined with Starchy Carbs, this makes a complete protein. This is why Beans and Rice are a great compliment for each other. This salad has tomatoes and no rice, so it should be a side dish and not a meal.
You may use your favorite beans and sub for the ones I list.
Ingredients:
1 Can each Garbanzo Beans and Kidney Beans Rinsed
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup mixed fresh herbs chopped together (Rosemary, Lemon Thyme, Parsley, Basil and Oregano are in my garden)
3 TBS each Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar (To taste)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Method:
After rinsing the beans combine with tomatoes in a large bowl
Add the chopped herbs and Oil & Vinegar, Salt & Pepper and.....
Voila!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Burritos Magnifico

Ingredients:
1 Pound Leanest Ground Turkey or Beef
2 Tbs Olive Oil Separated
2 Cloves Garlic Minced and separated
1 Large Onion
1/2 cup each Chopped Green and Red Bell Peppers
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Chili Powder
1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper (to taste)
1/2 Tsp Paprika
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Bag Organic, Frozen Corn, Cooked and Drained
1 Can Black Beans with liquid in pan, heated. Add Seasonings to taste
1 Bag Frozen Brown Rice, Cooked
1 Cup Grated Low Fat Cheddar Cheese
1/2 Cup Fresh Cilantro
Your Favorite Salsa ( I will come up with a recipe for this soon)
Method:
Saute: 1 Clove of Garlic, 1 Tbs. Olive Oil with the Ground Meat. Drain & set aside
Saute: 1 Tbs Olive Oil, 1 Clove Garlic, Onion and Peppers and spices together until the onions are clear. Add the meat and toss together until heated through, About 5 minutes, cover and turn heat off. Heat up Tortillas in the oven or Microwave
Place heated Corn and beans into bowls or assemble burritos near the stove as not to dirty any MORE dishes.
Assembly: Tortilla-Rice-Meat Mixture-Corn-Beans-Cheese-Cilantro
Roll the short ends up and fold the long sides together and Enjoy! They key is in the timing. I get the corn & beans going first so all you have to do is turn the heat off when they are ready.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Dirty Dozen & The Clean 15

I have touched on the importance of consuming organic foods. Here is a guide developed by the Environmental Working Group based on data from nearly 87,000 tests for pesticide residues in produce between the years 2000 and 2007.
The Dirty Dozen-Worst First:
Peach
Apple
Bell Pepper
Celery
Nectarines
Strawberries
Cherries
Kale
Lettuce
Grapes (imported)
Carrot
Pear

The Clean 15-Best First
Onion
Avocado
Sweet Corn (beware of Monsanto)
Pineapple
Mango
Asparagus
Sweet Peas
Kiwi
Cabbage
Eggplant
Papaya
Watermelon (Seedless=Genetically Modified)
Broccoli
Tomato
Sweet Potato

Buying organic and locally grown foods has recently become part of my lifestyle. Yes, it costs more, however, I have learned how to make it last in these tough economic times and it really doesn't have to cost that much more if your know where to shop. Trader Joe's is my place to shop. They offer so many varieties of organic produce, meats, dairy and breads (and chocolate too)! I made the big switch at the beginning of the year and I have recently achieved my weight loss goal and I believe I have leaned up due to even better eating than usual. It truly feels good to eat "Clean"..Any comments are always welcome!

Blogger Buzz: Blogger integrates with Amazon Associates

Blogger Buzz: Blogger integrates with Amazon Associates

Monday, April 26, 2010

Exercise and Diet Myths

Myth: The more you sweat (esp. by extreme measures) while exercising, the more body fat is lost.
Fact: If you wrap yourself in plastic wrap (which I often see in the women's locker room) or rubberized clothing, you will definitely lose weight. However, this is only water weight you are losing, not fat. When you replenish your body with fluids and food that lost weight will return quite rapidly. One also risks heat injury by attempting to lose weight this way by keeping the heat in your core as opposed to letting it evaporate naturally.

Myth: You are able to burn fat from specific regions of the body by spot reducing.
Fact: Spot reduction has no factual basis. Fat is lost by all regions of your body while exercising and concentrating on specific body parts, will get toned, but the fat will not disappear.

Myth: Muscles turn to fat when you stop exercising regularly
Fact: Muscles cannot turn into fat. They are 2 separate and distinct tissues. One tissue cannot turn into another. With Muscles, you must use it or lose it or it will waste away.

Myth: Supplements are not effective
Fact: Science has not invented the magic pill just yet, but there are plenty of good choices for supplements out there and I will address this at a later date. Like the next time I write.
Hope all is well with ALL of my followers!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Under-The-Weather-Workout & Diet on Tuesday

Menopause Madness is in full swing (yet again). It seems as though it is one big hot flash for a week now. I am going to take my temp just too see if I am feverish or just flashing...Not feeling too well with an upset stomach and headache, but ate my oatmeal with protein & some strawberries and vitamins, then took my dog for a 20 minute walk.
Stretching for a good long 30 minutes
Ab work for 20 minutes and
getting the patio ready to build the porch this weekend
Feeling better!
Resting to feel better for tomorrow & help my clients get through their sessions with a smile :)
Diet on a under-the-weather day:
Flax seed Oatmeal made with water and 1 scoop protein powder
6 Organic Strawberries
Water with Vitamins
1 Small organic apple with 1 Tbs organic peanut butter
Salad for lunch with lots of veggies & boneless, skinless chicken breast-homemade salad dressing
Water, water, water
String Cheese wrapped in no additive deli ham & thin slice of whole wheat sourdough toast
Stir Fry for dinner made with fresh veggies & baked tofu
Water, Water, Water
Hot tea
I know that this looks very light...it is an attempt to maintain my weight loss goal!
I eat more on a full workout day.
The inspiration for this article: There are no excuses anymore for me not to work out. As Danny DeVito said, "Excuses are like A__holes, everyone has one and they all stink!" Not really classy, but true ;)

Interval Cardio Work Out-Beginner-21 Minute Routine

In the hunt for answers to maintaining weight loss and cutting through plateau's I have realized that one must change the routine daily. I change up my cardio routine every day. An example for beginners:
Treadmill:
The correct way to stand on the treadmill to program it is: before walking, step on either side of the machine and then step on once the mill is moving.
Walk at 2 mph for 1 minute
increase pace to 3 mph and walk for 2 minutes
Increase incline to 1 and continue walking for 1 minute
Increase speed to 4 mph and incline to 2 for 3 minutes
Increase incline to 5 and walk (briskly) for 3 minutes
Decrease incline to 3 and walk for 2 minutes
Increase incline to 8 and walk for 2 minutes
Decrease incline to 4 and walk for 2 minutes
Increase incline to 10 for 1 minute
Increase incline to 15 (if you are able to) for 2 minutes
Decrease incline to 10 for 30 seconds and reduce speed to 3.8
Decrease incline to 4 for 30 seconds and reduce speed to 3.5
Decrease incline 1 and speed to 3.o to cool down for 30 seconds
Decrease Speed to 2 and stop after 30 seconds

I will try this one today and let you know how it works out.
My Goal: to burn 200 Calories
I am not so sure that the machines are correct with the calorie burn information, but it is a goal none the less and I am maintaining my goal, however, I switch machines and burn 800 calories a day (except Sunday).
Try it! And talk to me for motivation and life stories :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

20 Mid Morning & Afternoon Snacks

Notice how the Protein is accompanied by Carbohydrates and some (good) Fats too:

~1 Small Organic Apple/2 Tbs Peanut or Almond Butter

~1 Ounce Dry Roasted, Unsalted Almonds/1Small Pear

~2 Ounces Low Fat Swiss cheese or soy cheese/1/2 Apple/2 Whole Wheat Crackers-Stacked

~1/2 Cup Low Fat Cottage Cheese/Toasted Raisin Ezekiel Bread/1 Tsp Honey & Cinnamon

~Protein Shake: Ex: 1 cup Organic Almond Milk, 1/2 Banana, 1/2 Cup fresh Pineapple/ 1 Scoop Vanilla      Whey Protein Powder/3 Ice cubes Blend

~8 Ounces Plain Low Fat Yogurt /1 Ounce Trail Mix

~Cottage Cheese Dip for veggies: 2 Cups Low Fat Cottage Cheese/1 Cup Fresh Basil/ 1/4 C. Parsley/1 Tbs. Red Wine Vinegar/Splash Olive Oil/Salt & Pepper
Pulse in Food Processor until Smooth. Makes 4 servings

~Protein Bars: My favorite is Cliff Bars because they are not too high in protein which can upset your stomach, they are made with organic ingredients and are high in fiber...also high in sugar :( "Think Thin" bars have no sugar, but have sugar alcohols and are higher in protein so you MUST drink water with them or it will affect you stomach negatively.

~1/2 cup Seedless Red Grapes/Low Fat Baby Bel Cheese

~2 stalks Celery with Peanut Butter & Raisins "Ants on a Log"

~2 stalks Celery with 2 Tbs. Low Fat Whipped Cream Cheese and Cranberries

~1/4 cup Roasted Walnuts/1/4 cup Dried Cherries

~1/2 cup Cottage Cheese and 1/2 cup or 1 Fruit

~2 Sliced Hard Boiled Eggs on 1 slice Toast with Sliced Tomato and Fresh Basil

~1 Low Fat String Cheese wrapped in 1 slice No Nitrate/Nitrite Ham with Fresh Pear

~2 slices Cantaloupe wrapped in Prosciutto (2 thin slices)

~1/2 Avocado with 1 tsp Vinaigrette- Sprinkle of Toasted Walnuts

~ 2 Bell Pepper Slices wrapped in No Nitrate/Nitrite Roasted Turkey

~4 Artichoke hearts and 8 grape tomatoes with 1 tsp. vinaigrette

~Fresh Gazpacho soup with 1/2 quesadilla

Monday, April 12, 2010

Must Have Cardio Playlists!

I worked out for an entire year losing 70 pounds without an i-pod. I look back and think now, How Did I Do That? Since music is a huge part of my cardio program, have reached my goal of burning 200 calories in 20 minutes and since Music is a very personal thing, it is a little difficult to come up with a 20 minute playlist that would suit everyone so I will list 3 that come from my i-tunes Music, DISCO First:
ARTIST/SONG
Circ: Destroy she Said
Cascada: What Hurts the Most
Hillary Duff: Stranger
Ian Va Dahl: Castles in the Sky
Sting: Send Your Love-Remix

HIP HOP
Gnarles Barkley: Charity Case
Gorillaz: Feel Good
Wyclef Jean: Stayin Alive
50 Cent: Ayo Technology
B.o.B: I'll be in the sky

ALTERNATIVE
Breaking Benjamin: Diary of Jane
Incubus: Megalomaniac
Linkin Park: Don't Stay
Muse: Map of the Problematique
Paulson: Ultra High
Spoon: Don't you Evah

Now this is all for fun and most of the tunes have a good beat. That is the point. The music must have a good , fast beat for you to synchronize your body to the music. Make new goals for your cardio daily. sorry I don't have a Country playlist. If you have one, please share with me & I will post it!

My Cardio work out today:
20 minutes on Treadmill mostly walking at 4 MPH up hill between levels 8 and 15
20 minutes on Elliptical changing up levels of resistance and direction of foot movement
20 minutes on Arc Trainer changing levels of resistance
20 minutes outside with my dog! Very quick pace.

What do you do when you reach your goals? Make new ones!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Gym Intimidation in LA LA Land

When my story was published at about.com. The writer addressed the issue if gym intimidation that I had brought up in the article. It is not easy to motivate yourself when you are obese, especially at a prominent gym in Los Angeles, where all the pretty people live! I lived through this and something inside of my head kept me coming back. I was miserable. I wore men's baggy clothes. I was terribly depressed. I was certain that people were making fun of me, especially the men. When you are 210 pounds, you become invisible to the beautiful people. They look right through you and it is incredibly intimidating. "Optimal Fitness is Achieved Through the Infinite Power of Your Mind." This is my Mantra...this is how I got through it. Seeing results really helped me. My family's encouragement helped me get through it. The INCREDIBLE people I met at the gym got me through it. I lost those 75 pounds with hard work and dedication to myself. I became selfish with my time. My family learned how to deal with it. My family changed too. My Family's nutrition changed for the better!. I have influenced them to eat healthier and work out to stay fit. I am proud of what I have done and I give credit to everyone who has helped me along the way. My idea when I became a personal trainer is to help those women out there who were going through what I went through. I train women in-home so they don't have to deal with gym intimidation. I build their self confidence and train in a gentle, but powerful way of changing their lives as I have done so they can walk into a gym with their heads up high with pride.
The other day, a very dear friend of mine told me, "You own the gym". I was taken aback. I think I actually blushed! I thought about it and yes, I feel like I own the place. My self esteem has grown, yes, I still feel very modest about my accomplishments, but I walk with my head up high into the "Men's section" and don't feel intimidated anymore. The message here is If I can do it, anyone can. You just have to believe in yourself and it is rewarding for me to help those on their journey in any way that I can. There is no time than right now to start. Use a daily journal to write down not only what you are eating, but how are you feeling when you eat. Write down your thoughts and then re-read it before you go to bed. One foot in front of another and take every day as another blessing towards your goals. It truly can happen to you...be patient thought!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Best Ever Low Fat Banana Bread

Preheat Oven to 325
Grease Loaf Pan with 1/2 Tsp Earth Balance Margarine
Ingredients:
1+1/4 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Egg Whites
1/2 Tsp Vanilla
1/2 cup Organic Sugar
1/4 Cup Natural Applesauce w/cinnamon
3 Medium ,Very Ripe, Bananas, mashed

Topping: 2 T Brown sugar + 1 T Earth Balance Margarine


Preparation:
Sift Dry Ingredients and set aside
Whisk together egg whites and vanilla
Whisk together applesauce and sugar in a separate bowl
Add egg mixture to applesauce mixture and stir to mix
Add slowly the dry ingredients to the egg/applesauce mixture
Add mashed bananas and mix together
Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan and top with topping mixture
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until firm when shaken.
Cool on rack for 1 hour
Loosen from sides of pan with a knife and invert on top of rack**Hint** place paper towel over the top of the bread when inverting to save the sugar topping (so yummy).

This recipe is very low in fat since applesauce is used instead of oil and egg whites instead of whole eggs This can be done with most bread recipes as well as the boxed mixes of breads and Gluten Free Boxed Mixes But, beware this is also high in sugar and carbs....moderation is the key once again :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

Ok, yesterday I felt so guilty about not getting up early to meet up with the girls at the gym that I did my workout at home and I am paying for it today :( It was a hard night of sleeplessness the night before and I needed to rest. At my age, (52) when your body says rest, you listen very carefully or you pay the price of a lower resistance to illness. After sleeping in a bit and a couple of cups of coffee and a light breakfast of organic oatmeal with whey protein powder, I decided to kick it into gear. It was absolutely beautiful outside, but a little chilly so I dressed in layers and took off down the street. Here is my workout:
Walk-quick walk for 1 minute-Slow jog for 50 paces-quick walk for 50 paces-Stretch legs in low lunge position-Stretch upper body. Walk at a quick pace for 50 paces and then jog for 50 paces-slow down to a quick pace for 5 minutes.
Walking Lunges 25 reps-slow jog for 50 paces-Walking lunges 25 reps-slow jog for 50 paces
Squats 25 reps-Stretch-walk at slow pace-walk at a quick pace-jog for 50 paces-Squats 25 reps
Quick walk for 5 minutes-jog for 50 paces-walking lunges 25 reps-Squats 25 reps
Quick walk for 5 minutes-jog the rest of the way home.
Cool Down-Stretch Drink Water
Outside in the Sun:
Legs on Mat with Stability Ball-Standing w/ hands on ball-Kickups 25 each leg-2 sets
Lying on Mat 100 adductor presses with ball
Ab Workout on Mat with Stability Ball
Sitting on Ball: 50 Crunches-50 reach ups-50 oblique crunches each side-Repeat
Lying on Mat: 50 Leg Lifts-50 Bicycles-50-Reach Ups-50 Reverse Crunches-50 Crunches
Stretch and Breathe
Drink Water
It took me about 1.5 hours to do this workout. Today I have DOMS in my quads big time and lucky me, I like the pain, cause it means I worked hard and this is rewarding for me. Now it is my mission and passion to motivate others to find within themselves to 1)get started 2)stay with it 3)live longer
I am taking the day off today since Hubby is home from work and it is his Birthday Weekend and need some quality time...but I will be at the gym in the morning to kick my own butt again!
Working on the low fat Easter Brunch and will post the menu a little later :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The I am So Tired, BUT still doing my Kick-Butt Work Out

It's only Tuesday and I am exhausted and really had to push myself to go to the gym today, but I accomplished a lot and I may take a nap in a little while :)
This is what I did:
16 minutes on the Elliptical~ Burn 200 Calories (4 minutes less than yesterday)
22 minutes on the Treadmill-Interval training-Burn 200 Calories
Stretch on Mat
20 Squats
Small Circuit on mat:
1 Leg Hip thrusts 25 Reps each leg then hold the raised leg at the angle of the other knee for 60 seconds Stretch it out!
Leg Lifts-No Hand Thrusts-Reg. Crunch 25 Reps Each
Adductor/Abductor Presses 4 sets of 25 Reps each
REPEAT ROUTINE
Machines:
Leg Press 130# 1 set of 20 then 1 leg at a time @ 70# 1 set of 20
Dead Lifts with 25# bar 3 sets of 20 reps each
Cable leg work with strapped ankle 35# 3 sets of 20 of 3 positions
Calf Raises- 2 sets of 20 reps
Back Extensions- 2 sets of 20
Arc Trainer Cardio-20 minutes Burn 200 Calories
Stationary Bike 15 minutes-Burn 200 Calories
Yes indeed I did kick my own butt again and I feel Great, still tired though-(My shows were on late last night..LOL) so I will give myself a quick 20 minute power nap
My weight after the Holiday's=151 My weight today after my work out 146 My lowest weight when training-3 years ago 135. I looked a little drawn, so I feel better and look better with a little extra poundage, especially when aging is becoming a very sensitive issue!
It is very important to switch up and challenge your cardio daily. I will post an example of Interval Training when I wake up :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Clean out your Pantry!

If you are able to do this, please go into your pantry and fridge and throw away the following:
White Flour, White Sugar, Sugar Substitutes (artificial sweeteners), Vegetable Shortening, Candy Bars, Cake, Chips, Cookies, Hydrogenated Oils, Milk Chocolate, Pretzels, Sugary Cereals, Syrup, White Rice, Powdered Milk, Canned foods, Pudding, Cold Cuts, Soda Pop, Diet Soda, Ice Cream, Yogurt with Sugar,  a condiments that contain sulfites or preservatives, and foods contained in non-lined metal cans (metal leaches into our foods).
Is your trash full? If you feel badly about throwing away your food, donate it to your local shelter if possible. Here is another alternative, the next time you shop, make sure your cupboards and fridge are empty, clean it out with some white vinegar and water to remove old food and bacteria,  and do not purchase any of the above mentioned items and place in your cart the following substitutes for the above:
Whole Wheat Flour, Organic or raw sugar, Honey, Olive oil, Organic Canola Oil, Protein bars, Non-Salted Blue Corn Chips (eat in moderation-still high in fat and salt), "Earth Balance" Margarine, Dark Chocolate, Oatmeal, Brown Rice, 1% Organic Milk, Organic Soy or Almond Milk,  Jarred tomato sauces and veggies (fresh is best though) Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (Frozen is OK too), Organic low fat yogurt or soy yogurt-plain ~add fresh fruit and cinnamon to sweeten, Cold Cuts with no nitrites or nitrates, Sorbet or organic soy ice cream are lower in fat than ice cream , but still high in sugar-splurge a little sometimes, Diet soda is poison-read up on it!, limit your Juice intake to 1/2 cup-whole fruit is better. Look at the labels to learn a wealth of information about what you are about to consume!

Here is a great afternoon snack:
1/2 cup low fat Cottage Cheese Blended with fresh basil, 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar a little olive oil and salt & pepper to taste. Serve with Fresh, Raw Veggies.

What's for dinner?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

2 Great Shakes

Vanilla-Blueberry-Banana (Very Low Fat)
1 Cup Non Fat Vanilla Soy Milk
1/2 banana
1/2 Cup Frozen Organic Blueberries
1 Scoop Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
1 Ice Cube
Blend

Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Banana (Higher in Fat-use as a meal replacement)
1 Cup Non Fat Vanilla Soy Milk
1/2 Banana
1 TBS Organic Crunchy Peanut Butter
1 Scoop Chocolate Whey Protein Powder
3-4 Ice Cubes
Blend


Note that these 2 shakes are made with Soy Milk. This may be substituted with 3/4 cup fruit juice. I prefer to eat fruit whole and when purchasing fruit juices try to buy organic when available.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Biceps, Triceps, Chest, Pecs and always Abs

TGIF! I had a great workout today! Starting on the arc-trainer 20 minutes and burned 200 calories and then 20 minutes on the treadmill and burned another 200 calories. Standing Stretch.
On Assist Machine: Chip-ups and Dips 2 sets 15 reps each.
Bicep Pull-Downs on Cable Lat Machine 80# 2 sets 20 reps
Tricep Press (cable) 2 sets each 20 reps pressing out and then pressing down(see me for details)
Standing Cable Chest Press 3 sets 15 reps
Free Weights 15# 2 sets 20 reps each:
Bent over Tricep Press
External Rotations
Slanted Chest Press
Tricep press-1 weight/both hands behind head
Alternating Bicep Presses
20 minutes Eliptical burn 200 calories
Abs on Mat-lighter day rotation leg lifts, obliques, crunches 4 sets of 25 each
EAT- Cliff Bar (my favorite, but need more protein after a hard workout so I have a shake when I get home)
Water consumed during workout: 32 ounces
Food consumed during workout: small apple
Supplement: Emergen-C Joint Health

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday's Cardio and Leg Routine

A tip to stay focused on your fitness is to switch up your routine. I have been challenging myself to do this since January and have lost all but 1/2 a pound to get to my goal. Today I switched it up even more by Starting my routine with switching machines in the middle and I burned more calories in less time because when I got home & weighed in it was lower than expected (yay me) and this was even after leg day which is usually when I don't weigh in because large muscles such as Quads, Hams and glutes muscles weigh more after being pumped, mine do anyway and everyone is different. So here's the routine:
30 minutes Interval Training on Arc trainer-Burn 200 cal/20 min Treadmill-Burn 200 cal/20 min Stretch. Ab work- 8 Sets of 4 different exercises X 25 Reps each
Lunges-alternating legs 25 Reps each leg 2 Sets
Kick-Ups holding Stability Ball 25 Reps each leg 2 Sets
Leg Press 130# 25 Reps/2 Sets
Back Extensions-25 Reps/2 Sets
Dead Curls 25# Bar-25 Reps /3 Sets
Cable Leg Extensions 15#-25 Reps 2 Sets each leg
Push ups-15 Reps/ 2 Sets (just for fun)
Adductor, Abductor work on mat (inner thigh work)
Glute work on mat (see me for details)
Stationary BikeBurn 200 more calories-20 minutes
Stretch it out
Exhausted
My Goal is to burn 600-700 calories per day, 6 days per week just doing Cardio
Quick Recipe: Tofu Parmagiana
Ingredients for 1 serving:
1 thick slice extra firm tofu
1 slice low sodium ezekiel bread-toasted and cooled
Generous amount of fresh or dried herbs of choice
Salt & Pepper
1 egg or 2 egg whites lightly beaten
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup organic marinara sauce
1 ounce fresh parmagiana cheese
Method:
Toast Bread and cool. Place in food processor with fresh Herbs and salt & pepper to taste and pulse until crumbs are dry. May want to use stale bread for better results.
Coat Tofu slice with egg mixture, then bread crumbs.
Heat olive oil in iron skillet and saute tofu until crispy. Drain on paper towel
Place 1/2 the sauce in small dish. Place tofu on top of sauce and add top with remaining sauce.
Sprinkle grated cheese on top and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is browning.
I is so yummy, I couldn't believe it and Hubby loved it!
High in Protein, low in fat, medium in carbs

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Fitness Trainer's Grocery List

So, what's up with Organic shopping? There has been much to do about the validity of Organic foods. My Main reason for buying mostly Organic foods and products can be defined with one word, MONSATO and GMO. The food Supply in the US has become over-run by a political force who are endangering it's population for mere GREED. I have vowed not to buy into it at this stage of my life. Here are some facts about organic products: Organic Farmers use natural fertilizers such as compost or manure to feed the plants and soil as opposed to chemical fertilizers to promote plant growth. Use insects and traps to reduce disease and pests as opposed to using insecticides. Rotate crops, till and hand weed to manage weeds as opposed to chemical herbicides. Give animals organic feed, fresh air outdoors and use preventative measures such as a balanced diet, clean housing to help minimize disease as opposed to giving animals antibiotics, growth hormones and medications to prevent disease as conventional farmers do. Some people such as myself buy organic because I think it tastes better and it is better for our environment by reducing pollution and conserving water and soil. I have changed my diet in the past couple of years to about  mostly Organic and I truly feel better too. Not everything must be organic though, just those on the Dirty Dozen List and be careful with your purchases and it doesn't have to break the bank. In my opinion, if it has a peel, just wash it before you peel it and you should be OK. I really don't worry so much about it. I have meat on the list, however I have cut back a great deal on meat and fish. We eat meatless meals at least 4 times a week now and we feel better for it! I do not eat much dairy and prefer almond milk to use on cereal and organic soy cream for iced coffees, if at all. Soy has gained a bad reputation lately..Hello Monsanto, once again! I love cheese, so I limit the intake to low fat and thin sliced for the huge 1/2 sandwiches I eat...Yes, I eat Huge 1/2 sandwiches every now and again when I feel like I need to eat meat, and I am maintaining my weight loss forever now :)
Here is my shopping list:: (Mostly Organic)
Chicken Breast-Boneless/Skinless
Turkey (ground or cutlets)-Lean or Extra Lean
Extra Lean cuts of Beef: Top Sirloin or Flank Steak are great choices
Wild Salmon
Peanut Butter
Whey or Vegan Protein Powder
Cage Free, Extra Large eggs
Egg Whites
Low fat Milk ( We don't drink Dairy milk)
Unsweetened, Vanilla Almond Milk or Coconut Milk
Soy Cream (it's the only soy product that I use and only sometimes)
Low Fat Cottage Cheese (limited for me)
Low Fat, Plain, Greek Yogurt
Unsalted, Creamy, Organic Peanut Butter
High Fiber, Whole Grain Bread or Ezekiel Bread
Whole grain Sourdough bread..We LOVE Sourdough Toast..it's a staple at around here
Earth Balance Margarine (lower in fat than reg. margarine and no trans or saturated fat)
Butter is OK in Limited Amounts I only eat KerryGold Irish Butter now.
Brown Rice/Brown Rice Pasta
Frozen Veggies
Green Beans
Arugula
Lettuce(s)
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Bell Peppers-Green, Red, Orange, Yellow and I have seen Purple too!
Onions and Leeks
Kale
Spinach
Carrots
Mushrooms
Zucchini
Squash
Potatoes
Tomatoes
Fresh Herbs-Grow your own. They add so much flavor to your food
Spices-watch out for sodium contents
Fresh Ginger
Garlic
Beans-Garbanzo, Kidney, Black, Pinto (the only canned items that I buy)
Legumes-Lentils, split peas
Grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese
Low Fat String Cheese
Low Fat Sliced Jarlsberg or Provolone Cheese
Deli Meat No Nitrates or Nitrites
Extra Virgin, Cold Pressed Olive oil
Unrefined, Organic Coconut oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Apple cider Vinegar
Salsa
(Jarred) Tomato Sauce (Cans can leach metal into the food)
Granola
High Fiber Cereals (No Corn or sugar-good luck finding these)
Organic Oats
Organic Apples
Organic Pears
Bananas
Organic Berries
Lemons/Limes
Oranges
Summer Fruits-Organic Peaches, Apricots, Plums, Nectarines, etc.
Honey-Raw, Local
High Protein, Low Sugar bars "Think Thin" high fiber bars are my new kick :)
Dark Organic (72%+) Chocolate
Coffee, YES!
Green Tea
Medicinal Teas
Herbal Tea for Relaxation
Vitamins-Multiple, Wild Salmon Oil, Oil of Evening Primrose, B-12, Cranberry, Calcium, Glucosamine and Chondrointin, Oregano Oil, Candida Control, Turmeric
Probiotics 50 Billion active cultures per pill..Yes my gut needs this every day
I have updated this list and every time I look at this article i update it again. I haven't trained since March 13 and I haven't gained any weight however, I have lost most of that muscle I worked on for a few years...Life changes and then we grow older and wiser...hopefully! ;)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Great Ab Workout!

Here is a great Ab Workout that I switch up daily. Remember, for tight abs, every day is a must.
Everyone is different, but this is how I begin a workout Cardio 30 minutes, Stretch for 10 minutes then ABS:
25 Leg Lifts
25 Bicycles
25 Regular Crunches
25 Reverse Crunch
Repeat 4 times
25 Bent knee/pointed toe leg lifts
25 cross-overs with Medicine Ball
25 Hand to toe rotations
25 Pilates 45
Repeat 4 times
This may take 20 minutes or so to do
I would love some feedback!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday, Monday..Can't trust that day...

Monday is usually the day everyone despises. I am looking at it as a new week and perhaps a new beginning in Nutrition. It seems as though most people do not have control of their diet on the weekends and I have tried to put a stop this this in my own life. The power of your mind exceeds any slip ups on your diet. I used to say, "Just eat what you want, but in smaller portions" however it is much more important to read the labels of what you are eating. I am promoting the idea of eating clean. What does this really mean? Every day consuming fresh, organic fruits and vegetables..at least 3 fruits and unlimited amount of (the lower carb) vegetables, lean, organic if possible meats, poultry and wild fresh fish (Salmon is the lowest in mercury), a gallon of water, low fat dairy such as yogurt, cottage cheese, string cheese or organic soy products and whole grain breads. My food lists are very comprehensive so as not to get bored. So, Breakfast:
1 cup organic oatmeal cooked with mashed banana and 1 scoop Whey Protein
1 cup French Pressed Coffee (yes, I think coffee is good for you)
vitamins with water
In 2-3 hours a snack of 1 small apple and 1 T peanut butter
Lunch:
Huge fresh salad with 6 oz boneless, skinless Chicken breast
1 slice whole grain bread or 4 crackers
Iced tea or water
Mid Afternoon Snack:
1 cup low fat cottage cheese dip made with basil & balsamic served with celery
Dinner:
6 oz Grilled Salmon with Lemon
1 bunch steamed broccoli
1/2 cup Brown Rice
Night time Snack:
Herbal Tea or Protein Shake made with water, protein powder blended with 3 ice cubes
Remember to drink lots of pure water and get plenty of rest

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Optimal Fitness is Acheived Through the Infinite Power of Your Mind

My name is Karen Brennan and I am Obesity Survivor. In 2005, I was 47 years old in the body of a 54 year old, I was 210 pounds and extremely miserable. I looked at myself in the mirror (naked). That was a very defining beginning of my lifestyle make-over! Our daughter moved across the US to attend University, and when she came home after her first year it was very noticeable that I had gained the "Freshman 20" and she gently told me that I must start taking care of myself. Later on I found out that it was my husband, who confided in our daughter about how concerned he was for my health and well being and she took action with me. Sarah had worked at the local gym during her high school years, and was well liked by mamagement thus I got a great deal on my membership! It was terrifying at first. I wore men's baggy clothes and couldn't look in the mirrors there..they are everywhere! I was intimidated by the enormity of the facility and I was feeling like I was being laughed at at first. It is incredible who people look right through you when you are Obese. It is as if you do not exist and. I soul searched and reached down deep within and continued to go to the gym 3 days a week, no excuses! I changed my diet too. For the first 4 months, I deprived myself of carbs. This was not the right decision to make. Since then, I have become a Certified Fitness Trainer and I now know that your body needs carbs (at least the good ones) for energy.. I lost 20 pounds though and I was making progress and used a rule of no carbs except (non-starchy) Veggies after 3PM. This is my #1 rule for weight loss. In one year, I lost 75 pounds and went from a size 16 + to a size 6 jeans! I have maintained this weight loss for 7 years and counting.  Now I am 56 and have had a rough year with incredible hip pain and I fell into deep depression at times, but I have started up again at the gym after healing through acupuncture. I have had many ups and downs in these past 8 years, such as getting terribly ill with diverticulitis and landing in the hospital in 2010. Just when I thought I was on the right path..the nuts and seeds coupled with stress + dehydration almost did me in! And then it happened again 6 months later. I think it was stress and dehydration related that time, though. Our beloved jack Russell Terrier died in my arms and I was so grief stricken, I forgot about myself...completely lost myself for a bit.
Before I started my weight loss journey, I suffered from back pain, heel spurs, asthma and depression. At this stage of the game, the  apart from the bone spurs and arthritis in my hip from over-training, the Other aches and pains that I have are usually exercise induced and I like that sort of pain (now), my heel spurs are still there because they never go away, but my feet don't hurt like they used to..there was a time where I couldn't walk from the intense pain . My asthma is controlled by one puff a day of that purple disk and exercise is my natural anti-depressant..ask anyone @ the gym! My goal in life is to help others to also change their lifestyle with a sensible program of exercise and diet that is tailored to their personal needs. I create programs of Exercise that is fun to follow and it changes all the time so you don't get bored and also a sensible eating plan. For example if you have wheat allergies, I have been experimenting with Gluten Free recipes that are really easy and yummy. It takes the first step from YOU! It really is not that hard to do this, it is all in the power of your mind. I will list on this blog from time to time healthy alternatives to some of the very fattening and unhealthy recipes that are often presented on television, magazines and newspapers. One must be ready to change their life to begin a program and stick with it and I am hoping with this Blog and my "Long Distance Fitness" page on Facebook that I may inspire some people to do so because it is so worth it and so are you! Take that first step to change your life forever and become a little selfish with your time for yourself. 10 "Secrets" to my success: 1)Embrace yourself and be realistic about changing your life 2)Be Determined to never give up 3) Eat 6, small, well balanced meals a day 4) Take all of the White out of your diet-eat whole grains, raw sugar (no artificial sweeteners), no trans fats, no animal fats other than very lean meats and cheeses. I prefer low fat to non fat. You need some fat in your diet to absorb the vitamins in food 5) Eat less meat 6)Drink at least 8 Glasses of water per day 7) Do your Cardio.Sweating is required. Aim @ burning 200 calories in 20 minutes for a total of a 600 calorie burn at least 4 times a week~choose music with a good beat 8)Believe in yourself and your family will follow. 9)Take Vitamins 10) Use Relaxation techniques to relieve stress..Breathe and Stretch.
Now it is up to you to do this. It is no so easy to do. There are so many obstacles in life. One foot in front of the other and the Power of Now is something that helps me. Remember the past, but do not dwell there. Live for this moment, grasp the beauty of every moment and move forward.
In Great Health and Fitness,
Karen Brennan