fitness

Captures of Yoga & Superfood Smoothies Workshop

What a wonderful weekend. We were so happy to share smoothies and knowledge with everyone at the Yoga & Superfood Smoothies Workshop on Saturday. There was some great Q & A and hopefully everyone is trying out their new recipes this week! We're grateful for Dave Ford's yoga practice, our amazing helper, Maddy Smith, the beautiful well-lit space (aMuse Art Gallery & Meeting Place) in the Mission, and everyone who brought their good energy. It was pretty cool to do yoga in an art gallery. Let us know if you'd like to see a similar event, we'd be happy to host if there's interest - contact Regina at reginafelice@apurifiedlife.com

xx

The Easiest Green Drink

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Some days there seems to be no time to even blend something for breakfast and take it on the go. On those days, I like to make something that only takes less than a minute, yet is filled with vitamins and minerals. Vitamineral Green is a powdered blend of green superfoods to enhance detox, support the immune system, balance blood sugar, rejuvenation, aid organ function, and support longevity. I simply mix this magical supplement with a few magical ingredients in a jar of spring water to get a healthy start. BCFebPhoto16

Ingredients:
2 cups water
1 Tablespoon of Vitamineral Green
Splash of lemon juice
2-3 drops of Vanilla Stevia
 
Get going on a good, green note! 

My Post-Holiday Thoughts and Tips to Get Back on Track

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This is the first time I write a blog post with more of "my thoughts" than nutrition advice. I figured it was time to switch it up a bit. I'm in the mood. It's the week after Thanksgiving and some of us are feeling stressed, low on energy, and in need of a detox. Is this you? I believe that a balance is key for a healthy lifestyle. I believe in the 80/20 approach, which consists of eating healthy 80% of the time and being able to indulge 20% of the time. I don't believe in depriving ourselves from the things we love. Everything should be done and consumed in moderation. I personally used to have a hard time reaching that healthy balance. Once I gave in to the foods that I don't normally eat (refined sugar, wheat, dairy, alcohol), I found it hard to stop. Sugar is like a drug, it leaves you wanting more and more, and turns into a vicious cycle. The more we eat it, the more we crave it.

So how do we handle it? It takes time to get there, but it is possible. First of all, we have to learn to be okay with indulging and not punishing ourselves afterwards. It's about building a positive relationship with food and not a negative one. Second, we shouldn't be afraid of foods we love, but rather be mindful when we are eating them and know that they are only a treat and not an every day thing. If we believe that our body can handle it, then we won't stress about it. If we stress about the food we are eating, our body will not digest it well and cause inflammation and other symptoms. The more mindful we are when we eat, the better relationship we build with food. Don't let guilt dominate your eating experience and learn to enjoy every bite. Chew your food. It's so important to listen to our bodies and learn how food affects us to be able to eliminate the foods that don't make us feel good or don't provide us with energy. Throughout the years (yes, it takes time), I have learned to only enjoy foods that make me happy. Over indulging does not make me happy. In fact, I get in a bad mood when I eat a lot of sugar and not enough whole foods (vegetables, fruits, seeds, etc.).

My boyfriend and I took a road trip this holiday weekend and we could not believe how limited our food options were on the road. Dried apricots is all we walked away with at the gas station when we were feeling hungry. Good thing I had some raw coconut treats with us because there was literally nothing there that was going to give us sustained energy. We got smart on the way back and picked up food at Sprouts. We bought ingredients to make hummus & vegetable sandwiches on black rice bread (gluten-free), and a few bananas with almond butter.

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It often seems to others that I am "too strict" on myself, when really I enjoy eating how I eat and the lifestyle I live. My body and mind have learned to not crave those foods I used to run to when I was feeling stressed or emotional. Those foods that are associated with "living a little." Based on how I feel with the foods I eat and how happy I am, I have never lived better. I do indulge every once in a while, but I never let myself fall into the trap of wanting more. I now know that my body can handle it without gaining weight or losing track completely, but only if I am mindful that it is just a treat and don't associate it with any negative thoughts.

That said, of course I did indulge a bit this past Thanksgiving and I don't regret it one bit. I came back from my trip refreshed and ready to take on a new month. I decided the best way to start was with a detox, so my mom and I started a 6 day detox yesterday. We want to have more energy, lose the bloating/inflammation, clear our skin, and get rid of cravings.

Here are simple tips you can do also to get back on track:

  1. Drink Water. I can't stress how important water is to cleanse the body. Headaches, bloating, cravings, and low energy are all often signs of dehydration.
  2. Eat More Greens. The more greens we eat, the less we cravings we have. Vegetables provide the vitamins and minerals we need daily and reduce inflammation. Are you craving sugar? Eat greens. Are you low on energy? Eat greens.
  3. Eat a Balanced Breakfast. If your breakfast consists of mostly sugar (breads, pastries, fruit), you will crave sugar the rest of the day. Start your day with a breakfast packed with protein and healthy fats and you'll have more energy for longer.
  4. Walk it Out. Walking is one of the best ways to relieve stress. Take a long walk in the morning for the best start to your day or take 10-20 minute walk breaks throughout the day to reduce overall stress in your life. The more we stress, the harder it is to manage weight regardless of how clean our diet is.
  5. Eat Mindfully. Always ask yourself before you eat: "Will this nourish me and give me energy?." If the answer is no, then make changes. Be mindful of what you eat and how you feel during and after. Enjoy every bite and remember that you are the only one that can control what goes into your body.

 

8 Tips to Keep Motivated to Workout

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Moving our body can increase our energy level and release stress. Exercising in the morning is best because it sets a positive tone for the rest of the day. Besides the benefits of preventing diseases such as cancer and diabetes, it boosts the brain and improves our attention skills. It also improves mood and can act as a natural anti-depressant. 

 
Finding motivation to workout can be a challenge. Sometimes it's the type of workout you are doing that can maybe get boring or simply not challenging yourself enough. Switching up workouts is important for best results. Here are a few tips to follow in order to keep yourself motivated and keep active:
  1. Keep a workout log. Simply writing down what you did and how you felt after your workout can keep you engaged and wanting to feel the same again. Once you begin to see a regular pattern, it can also make you feel accomplished.
  2. Find a workout buddy. Working out with someone else that wants to be active provides mutual motivation. 
  3. Set goals: register for a competitive event, write down where you want to be in weeks or months.
  4. Join a fitness class or program: boot camp, spinning class, dance class
  5. Make sure you feel good in your workout clothes. If you feel self-conscious or uncomfortable in your workout clothes you will never want to workout. Find clothes that you like and are comfortable in. 
  6. Remind yourself how good you feel after a workout. A workout, especially in the morning, usually sets the tone for the rest of the day and clears the mind. 
  7. Use motivational quotes. Find motivational quotes online and write them on post-its and have them in places where you will read them when you wake up.
  8. Say YES! Simply wake up every morning and ask yourself if you should workout, answer YES every single time. You will never regret it. 
 

Tips for Weight Management

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There are many factors that contribute to a person being overweight. It can be frustrating to manage weight when we don't know what the issue is. "Calories in and calories out" does play a role in weight management, but there is more to look at. It's mostly the quality of the calories that matters.

Most popular weight management diets just restrict calorie intake and don't consider the quality of the food going into our bodies. If a diet is low in calories and still full of refined sugar and carbohydrates, a person might lose some weight at first, but the sugar cravings, mood imbalances, and old eating habits will still be there. A weight management plan should be a lifestyle change and not temporary restrictions or eliminations that are not realistic to stick with.
 
Factors that contribute to a person being overweight:
  • Behavioral
    • Eating when not hungry
    • Skipping meals
    • Lack of exercise
  • Emotional
    • Overeating due to stress, anxiety, depression, or frustration
  • Metabolic
    • Low thyroid
    • Slow metabolism
    • Medical drugs
    • Low muscle mass
    • Lack of exercise
    • Age
    • Gender
    • Toxicity
      • Metals
      • Food colorings, preservative, and flavorings
      • Plastics and pesticides
      • Bacteria or parasitic overgrowth
  • Nutritional
    • Eating too many foods that lack nutrients such as processed foods, high sugar foods, and refined carbohydrates
    • Consuming more energy (calories) than expanded 
    • Having an imbalance of essential nutrients (usually it's an excess amount of carbohydrates and not enough protein and healthy fats)
Factors that contribute to a person being underweight:
  • Not consuming enough energy (calories)
  • Not getting enough nutrients
  • Digestive issues
  • Anorexia/Bulimia
  • Excessive exercise
  • Allergies
  • Stress
  • Crohn's and Celiac Disease (gut issues)
  • Mal-absorption of nutrients
  • High thyroid
  • Medication side effects
Tips to manage weight:
  • Detox/Cleanse: A detox is not the same as fasting and should not be a calorie restriction diet
    • Feed your liver: The liver is an organ with many important functions such as making enzymes, making proteins, making bile (helps digest fats), detoxifying chemicals, detoxifying drugs and alcohol, filters about 95% of microbes and toxins from the bloodstream, and regulates blood sugar
      • Increase protein: eggs, meats, yogurt, nuts, seeds, legumes
      • Increase bitter foods: arugula, dandelion greens, chard, raw cacao powder
      • Increase greens: leafy greens, sea vegetables
      • Increase sour foods: sauerkraut, vinegars, lemon juice
      • Increase herbs and spices: parsley, cilantro, licorice root, cinnamon
  • Regulate blood sugar: Weight gain around the waist is usually a blood sugar issue
    • Decrease gluten-containing grains and sugar intake (refined carbohydrates)
      • Eat gluten-free grains: amaranth, millet, quinoa, brown rice
      • Avoid tropical fruits (banana, pineapple, mango) because they are very high in sugar, stick to berries and seasonal fruits
    • Increase non-starchy vegetables: greens, greens, and more greens
    • Increase healthy fats: coconut oil, nuts, seeds, nut butters, olive oil
    • Increase protein: protein at every meal is important, especially at breakfast (Ideally within an hour of waking up)
    • Increase fiber: vegetables, legumes (good source of fiber and protein), flax seeds, chia seeds
  • Increase metabolism
    • Cinnamon
    • Cardamom
    • Green Tea
    • Ginger
    • Garlic
    • Apple Cider Vinegar
    • Sea Vegetables
    • Cumin and Curry Powder
    • Hot Peppers (Cayenne)
  • Exercise daily
    • Exercising in the morning is best because training hard at night messes up cortisol balance and can cause you to hang on to weight
  • Get enough sleep!
    • Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night
    • Lack of sleep leads to cravings and overeating
  • Stay hydrated
    • Water
    • Herbal teas
 
Sources
 
Bauman College Workbook, Spring 2012

Quick workouts for the busy lifestyle

We all know choosing the right foods is a huge part of living a healthy lifestyle, but it's not the only important factor. Proper nutrition along with physical activity are key components to living a long, happy, and healthy life. Physical activity is not only good for weight management, but it also lowers the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and depression.

The recommendation for an adult is at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day for maintaining current weight, and 60 minutes per day for weight loss (along with a healthy diet).

A workout can consist of a cardiovascular exercises, strength training exercises, flexibility exercises, or a mixture of all three. Cardiovascular exercises include brisk walking, running, bicycling, dancing, swimming, jumping, and many others. Strength training exercises are those that use weight or resistance to make muscles work harder and get stronger such as full-body circuits, ab workouts, weight lifting, etc. Flexibility exercises are those that include stretching or range-of-motion like yoga, pilates, or tai chi. Ideally, all these workouts should be combined in order to get the most health benefits. It's important to mix it up because our body can get used to the same type of workout if done consistently, and after some time, won't provide the same results. Also, a variety of these type of exercises and/or workouts will most likely keep you motivated and won't get boring. It's a good way to keep your body challenged and your mind engaged.

Being active doesn't require a gym membership or lots of fitness equipment. The point is to get your heart rate up and keep it up for 30-60 minutes at a time. So get some exercise clothes on, grab a water bottle, and you're good to go!

I've created a list of exercises that don't require a lot of equipment and can be combined to create a quick workout or circuit to get your heart beat going for 30 minutes or more at home, at the park, at the gym, or even at work during a break. Pick about 4 of these exercises, do 15-20 repetitions of each, then repeat. You can do about 3 cycles of this and then choose another 3-4 exercises and do the same until you reach at least 30 minutes (and hopefully break a sweat):

- Jump rope
- Sprints
- Lunges
- Squats
- Jump squats and/or lunges
- Run/jog in place
- Run in place bringing knees up
- Jumping jacks
- Mountain climbers
- Plank
- Ab crunches
- Side reaches for obliques
- Tricep dips
- Push ups
- Run up and down stairs

I know it's sometimes hard to set aside 30-60 minutes of your day to workout, but being active doesn't need to be something to stress about rather than part of your every day life (because it will make you feel great!). If you absolutely cannot make time to workout during the day, there are small changes that can be made to your every day routine that can add up to at least 30 minutes of physical activity. Some tips are:

- Walk or bike to work/school/gym or at least anywhere within 2 miles
- Park further away from building entrance
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Go on a walk during your lunch break (after eating, of course)
- Dance when you're stuck in traffic (my favorite!)

For weight loss, the foods you eat are just as important as physical activity. The amount of calories that you burn needs to be higher than the amount of calories you consume. Finding a balance between the right foods and physical activity is important for optimal health. Natural, whole foods are usually lower in calories and provide the nutrients your body needs to have energy and function properly. Avoid consuming high-fat and high-sugar drinks and foods that don't provide any nutrients such as soft drinks, fast-food, candies, and chips or other snack foods.

Get moving!