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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tips on Basic Nutrition

Whether you are taking a walk, lifting weights or taking a day off to recover, your body needs fuel to survive, lose weight, build muscle and to perform daily basic activities. It is important that you live a healthy balance lifestyle no matter where you are in your walk of  life. The healthier and more well balance your life is today will effect your future self and a big chunk of what effects that is what you put into your mouth.

 But where do we start? Take a stroll down the aisle in the supermarket and you will see all types of foods labeled "low-fat"  "low-carb" "low- calorie"  "fat-free" and "Gluten-free". Flip through a magazine and find an advice column on how to lose weight. Walk into a gym and you are bound to over hear a conversation on how person is trying this diet or product to lose weight verses another. All this comes down to is that nutrition has become a part of the American lifestyle with tons of information out there. So  much information in fact trying to figure what information is reliable is a chore and can be stressful in itself.

 The answer is really quite simply. Stick with the basics and forget all the crazy diet fads and products out there. Yes, a few diets have their place if suggested by a doctor due to health reasons but the bulk of the diets out there are unnecessary and unhealthy. Going back to the simple art of eating well will help more than anything. Learning the basics when it comes to food and what to put into your body. With the proper spices, recipes and nutritional information you can make any meal healthy and satisfying and full of taste. You can learn the lost art of proper nutrition. 

So here are some tips to help you get started to change your eating habits and start living a healthier lifestyle.

1) Know the difference between whole foods and processed foods. A whole food is a food with little or no refining or processing and contains no artificial additives or preservatives. A whole food item is in its natural, or very close to natural, state.

Processed foods are foods that have a list of ingredients that make it taste better and last longer on the shelf. Not all processed foods are bad because that is the way we have preserved some of our whole foods for hundreds of years. The best way to make sure you are eating the best quality of food is to read the ingredients.  If you don’t know what something is then don’t buy it.  Another good tip is: the more ingredients it has, the more processed and less nutritious it is.  

2) Load up on your vegetables and when you do think of the rainbow.  At present only 1 of 4 Americans only get the daily serving size of vegetables  that are recommend. Simply upping your consumption of vegetables foods packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants helps to lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Not to mention vegetables are very low in calories and takes more energy for you body to digest them than for you to eat them.   Make sure you eat vegetables of a variety of colors.  The more diverse of color, when it comes to vegetables in your diet, the better!

3) Choose your protein wisely. Stick with lean cuts of meat such as turkey, chicken, fish and lean cuts of beef. If you prefer not to eat meat tofu is a great source of protein along with legumes, lentils and beans. Also take note that more protein is not always better, there is such a thing as too much protein. 3 to 5 oz of any protein source is enough for a meat and fill the rest of your plate with vegetables or healthy starch.  

4) Include healthy fats into your diet. Fats are very important for our diet and our bodies function. Healthy fats provide a huge source of energy, help us feel fuller faster, carry fat soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids , keep our skin and hair looking healthy while protecting our vital organs. The best type of healthy fats come from plants such as olive oil, coconut oil or various other type plant based oils, peanuts, almonds, cashew or any other type of nut or nut butters, avocado and olives. To make sure you get a healthy dose of Omega 3's eat plenty of fish or take some fish oil pills.

5) Make it flavorful.  Probably the biggest criticism of “healthy” cooking has been that it is bland or flavorless. It doesn’t have to be. Use plenty of spices, herbs and citrus to make your food taste great. All you have to do is get creative with your cooking try a bit of that and a dash of that and you will be amazed what you will come up with. Not to mention that many of the spices and herbs come with extra healthy benefits of their own.

6) If you want something sweet go for natural sugars. Natural sugars such as fruits and honey rather than anything processed or refined is a lot better and filled with vitamins minerals and fiber all the while satisfying  you sweet tooth not to mention considerable lower in calories per serving.

7) Be a savvy shopper. One of the best ways to being a healthier eater is being a smart shopper and the best way to start that is to plan your meals. Concentrate your shopping in the outer sections of most supermarkets produce, seafood, meat and dairy departments where the healthiest and least-processed ingredients tend to be. In the freezer section, head for frozen vegetables and fruits. In the inner aisles, go for whole grains,  dried beans, spice and herbs.

8) Learn to read labels. Check the nutrition information and also look at what ingredients are in the product.  This goes back to tip 1 when choosing the best processed foods. A general rule: the simpler the ingredient list is to read, the better.

9) Never skip breakfast it's the most important meal of the day. It literally means "break the fast" which translates to kick starting your metabolism, muscles, and mind after an 8 or more hour period of food deprivation. This also means it sets you in the right direction for rest of the meals throughout the day by helping control your blood sugar and sets your body up to better metabolize  through out the day and also keeps you from over eating come lunch time or dinner time. Eating breakfast keeps not only keeps you on track with food but with your mood and mind as well. A healthy breakfast keeps a health shape mind and happy mood full of energy. So never skip breakfast.

There are some easy to follow tips to get you started on the right path.  I even added a few photo tips for you as well. If you need anymore help feel free to contact me at I can answer you questions or if you like can design a consume meal plan just for you.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

A Hero to Me

A Hero to Me

A Hero to me is courageous
Someone who looks fear in the face and overcomes it everyday

A Hero to me does not get discourage over mere obstacles
But  becomes more resilient in looking for solutions in overcoming
A Hero to me is not perfect but very much flawed
They make mistakes they learned from them  and they move on

A Hero to me has no true superpowers and more than just brute strength
The only true power they have is that in strength of their heart

A Hero to me never looks for glory or praise
But looks for just a simple smile to brighten their day

A Hero to me smiles
Even through the tears

A Hero fights for what they believe
Whether they stand alone or within  a crowd

A Hero to me is symbol of hope a symbol of courage
A symbol of love, a symbol of faith

A Hero to me will help without being asked
And risk their lives without a second thought

A Hero to me has been put through hell
But stands tall and prevails

 A Hero to me is in all of us
We just have to be willing to see
The Hero we can be


Friday, October 23, 2015

6 tips on if it's Bogus

      As a personal trainer and someone into fitness and living a healthy lifestyle I often get approached by people wanting me to try their weight loss products and other supplements. They claim their products has helped them meet their goals and others and they believe it will help me achieve my goals and of course my clients goals. Me being the person I am which is skeptical, start asking 20 questions and that is when I find out that this person often doesn't know a thing about the product itself or what is in it. Kind of scary huh, knowing that companies will have just about anyone selling their products promising great out comes with little knowledge of what is actually in it.
      I am one who doesn't like to use supplements to achieve my goals anyways.  That doesn't mean I don't use supplements. I take a daily multi vitamin and BCAA's during my work out and on occasion I have a protein powder paired with a piece of fruit for a quick meal on the go. I try my hardest to stay away from highly processed foods as much as possible and rely on what nature gave us. My reason for this has a lot to do with my Epilepsy and the medication I take. Certain combination of foods and ingredients in supplements can interfere with my medication and can cause me to have a seizure if I am not careful. I do encourage my clients to eat healthy whole foods as well and NOT to rely on supplements and "quick fixes" when it comes living a healthy lifestyle especially when it comes to losing weight.
       As many of you know there are so many products out there that promise you fast results whether it be to lose weight, build muscle or even to detox. But how does one know if these products are true to their word? In this day and age you find information is rampant on the internet and is continually being revised and created and this is no exception when it comes to diet and exercise products. Internet information comes in many forms such as facts, statistics, stories and opinions. This information is created for many purposes such as to entertain, inform, to persuade, to sell, or to influence an individual and varies in quality from good to bad. Many claims you will find are misleading and are supposedly backed by scientific sounding statements making it difficult for even informed consumers to separate fact from fiction. 
       But with all these products that promise fast and permanent results and the vase information that is on the internet how can you tell if a product is true to what they say or just another product out to get your money? The general rule of thumb is:   If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The following are "red flags" that may help you spot a "quack".
  •  The promoter claims that the medical establishment is against him or her and that the government won't accept this new "alternative" treatment.  If the government or medical community doesn't accept a treatment, it's because the treatment hasn't been proven to work. Reputable professionals don't suppress knowledge about fighting disease On the contrary, they welcome new remedies for illness, provided the treatments have been carefully tested.
  • The promoter uses testimonials and anecdotes from satisfied customers to support claims. Valid nutrition information come from careful experimental research, not from random tales. A few people's reports that the product in question "works every time" are never acceptable as sound scientific evidence.
  •   The promoter uses a computer- scored questionnaire for diagnosing "nutrient deficiencies." Those computers are programmed to suggest that just about everyone has a deficiency that can reversed with supplements the promoter just happens to be selling, regardless of the consumers symptoms or health. 
  •   The promoter claims that the product will make weight lose easy. Unfortunately, there is no simple way to lose weight. Again, if a claim sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  •    The promoter promises the product is made with a "secret formula" available only from this one company Legitimate healthy professional share their knowledge of proven treatment so that other can benefit from it.
  •   The treatment is available only through the back pages of magazines, over the phone, or by mail-order ads in the form of news stories or 30 minute commercials commonly known as infomercials in talk show format. Results of studies on credible treatments are reported first in medical journals and then administered by a doctor or other healthy professional. If information about a treatment appears only elsewhere, it probably cannot withstand scientific scrutiny.
Notice I am not calling out  any specific products here. I am sure you may have some products that come to mind when you read these "red flags". My goal here is to educate you on how to choose the quality of supplements no matter where you may buy  them from. The first thing you need to realize is that the bases of a healthy lifestyle comes from healthy eating habits, physical activity  and proper rest and self care. Supplements are there to help fill in the gaps if you will when needed and and only should be used when needed and not depended on. 

If you need any guidance on diet or exercise you can contact me at and I will be glad to help you.