It's About Time

If you have ever spent more that 5 minutes with me, it is fairly obvious that I love fitness. I have learned so much (sometimes the hard way) in the 30 years that I have been teaching. What better way to share my passion than to start a blog and pass on the information that I share with clients on a day-to-day basis.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Macro nutrients-Yes Please-All of them

Figuring out a meal plan that can help you reach your goal can be so overwhelming.  There are the low or no carb coaches or the protein pushers and many more.  No matter where you get your advice, make sure it is nutritionally sound.  There isn't a One-diet-fits-all meal plan.  You need to base your decisions on a few things like your basal metabolic rate, your activity level, your food preferences, your lifestyle, your availability to certain types of foods, etc.  Just reducing your calories may give you temporary success but you can’t base your health solely on the number on the scale.  A huge reduction in calories can definitely produce weight loss but it may not just be fat.  Count on losing muscle mass as well.

Below is a list of macro nutrients and why your body needs them.  After studying those lists, you can see why it is not a great idea to radically eliminate any of them from your diet.

Carbohydrates are the macro nutrient that we need in the largest amounts. According to the Dietary Reference Intakes published by the USDA, 45% - 65% of calories should come from carbohydrate. We need this amount of carbohydrate because:
  • Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of fuel.
  • Carbohydrates are easily used by the body for energy.
  • All of the tissues and cells in our body can use glucose for energy.
  • Carbohydrates are needed for the central nervous system, the kidneys, the brain, the muscles (including the heart) to function properly.
  • Carbohydrates can be stored in the muscles and liver and later used for energy.
  • Carbohydrates are important in intestinal health and waste elimination.
  • Carbohydrates are mainly found in starchy foods (like grain and potatoes), fruits, milk, and yogurt. Other foods like vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and cottage cheese contain carbohydrates, but in lesser amounts.
According to the Dietary Reference Intakes published by the USDA 10% - 35% of calories should come from protein. Most Americans get plenty of protein, and easily meet this need by consuming a balanced diet. We need protein for:
  • Growth (especially important for children, teens, and pregnant women)
  • Tissue repair
  • Immune function
  • Making essential hormones and enzymes
  • Energy when carbohydrate is not available
  • Preserving lean muscle mass
Protein is found in meats, poultry, fish, meat substitutes, cheese, milk, nuts, legumes, and in smaller quantities in starchy foods and vegetables.

Although fats have received a bad reputation for causing weight gain, some fat is essential for survival. According to the Dietary Reference Intakes published by the USDA 20% - 35% of calories should come from fat. We need this amount of fat for:
  • Normal growth and development
  • Energy (fat is the most concentrated source of energy)
  • Absorbing certain vitamins ( like vitamins A, D, E, K, and carotenoids)
  • Providing cushioning for the organs
  • Maintaining cell membranes
  • Providing taste, consistency, and stability to foods

Fat is found in meat, poultry, nuts, milk products, butters and margarines, oils, lard, fish, grain products and salad dressings. There are three main types of fat, saturated fat, unsaturated fat, and trans fat. Saturated fat (found in foods like meat, butter, lard, and cream) and trans fat (found in baked goods, snack foods, fried foods, and margarines) have been shown to increase your risk for heart disease. Replacing saturated and trans fat in your diet with unsaturated fat (found in foods like olive oil, avocados, nuts, and canola oil) has been shown decrease the risk of developing heart disease.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Metabolic Chain- Full Body Workout

This workout starts out easy and then slowly kicks your butt.  Every exercise flows right into the next exercise without stopping. Every round you add one rep to each exercise so at the end of the sequence you will be doing 10 of each exercise.  It will take you about 20-30 minutes to complete.  You can work up to doing 2-3 rounds.  Enjoy.

SQUAT down and then come up with OVERHEAD PRESS with dumbbells
Slowly lower down arms in front and do a DEAD LIFT
Come up and do straight ARM EXTENSION
Lower down arms and do a BICEP CURL with a CALF RAISE
Lower body down into a PLANK and do an alternating ROW


Monday, January 20, 2014

A Sugar is a Sugar is a Sugar ?????

This time of year we are reminded of all things sweet: Gifts from our SWEETheart for the holiday of love, Chocolates that satisfy our SWEET tooth or SWEET dreams of a healthy new year.   Beware- Being surrounded by all things sugary can be detrimental to your health.  Carbohydrates are a great fuel source and should compose about 45% of our diet per day.  When choosing your carbohydrates you should know there are several types of sugar and we should try and eat naturally occurring carbs and not added sugars  because not matter what, all sugars in excess can be stored as fat. 

My friend, Mary, who is a registered dietician, says a sugar is a sugar is a sugar.  She put together the list below and no matter what you call a sugar it all breaks down to the same thing;  It just depends on how fast.

Agave Necter                           Barley Malt                                 Beet Sugar
Brown Sugar                            Buttered Syrup                          Caramel
Carob Syrup                             Castor Sugar                               Corn syrup solids
Crystalline Fructose               Dextran                                       Diastatic Malt
Diatase                                      Ethyl Maltol                              Evaporated Cane Juice
Fructose                                    Fruit Juice                                   Fruit Juice Concentrates
Galactose                                 Glucose                                        Glucose Solids
Golden Sugar                          Golden Syrup                            Granulated Sugar
Grape Sugar                             High-Fuctose Corn Syrup       Honey
Icing Sugar                              Inverse Sugar                              Lactose
Malt Syrup                              Maltodextrin                               Maltose
Maple Syrup                            Molasses                                    Muscovado Sugar
Panocha                                    Raw sugar                                  Refiners Syrup
Rice Syrup                               Sorbitol                                      Sorghum Syrup
Sucrose                                     Sugar                                           Syrup
Treacle                                     Turbinado Sugar                        Yellow Sugar                                        

A very powerful tool when making good food choices and watching your sugar consumption  is reading the ingredient list on food labels.  We know that the farther down the list the ingredient is, the less there is of the item.  Sadly, manufacturers have learned to be very creative.  They may use two or more different types of sugars which when listed separately there is less of them so they can be placed further down on the list of ingredients.  But when combined (Sugar is a sugar is a sugar) they would be one of the largest quantities on the ingredient list.  See example below.

Six of the top eight ingredients are sugar.  Yikes.  They are so tricky. 

Take time to choose your carbohydrates wisely.  Your health will thank you for it.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Choose Your Hard

Full Body Weighted Bar Workout

This is a great workout to address every body part and use minimal equipment.  If you don't have a bar, use dumbbells.    Enjoy

12 Walking Lunges (R and L = 1 count)
12 Push Presses
12 Bicep Curls
12 Straight Leg Dead Lifts
12 Bent Over Rows
12 Single Leg Dead Lifts (Do 12 on both legs)
12 Over Head Tricep Extensions or Skull Crushers
12 Front Squats
12 Chest Presses
12 Hip Lifts