Fruit: What’s the point?

picFruit is in season! There is nothing that tastes better than sweet, juicy, cold fruit when it is super hot outside. The question is though, is fruit healthy for you? So I decided to research into a few of my favorite fruits to see what I am gaining in nutrients when consumed. Here are my top 4 favorite fruits:

Apples: We all know that phrase “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” The antioxidants in apples promote health and prevent disease in the human body. They are low in calories and contain zero grams of saturated fat and cholesterol. Apples also carry a small amount of minerals like potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. Apples are a good fruit, so stick to that phrase and try and eat one everyday!

Bananas: They are a good source of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Bananas are an intriguing fruit in terms of their carbohydrate and sugar content. Even though bananas are a fruit that tastes quite sweet when ripe, they only contain about 14-15 grams of sugar per banana. They are also a great quick carb after working out to help your muscles from cramping. Moral of the story, bananas are a good fruit!

Watermelon: It is the perfect fruit for a hot summer day. Although it does lack a lot of nutritional value, but the amount of water it contains helps keep your body hydrated. Watermelon is the top fruit source of the carotenoid antioxidant lycopene, which is important for your cardiovascular health. The hardest part when it comes to watermelon is finding a ripe one that is ready to eat. Some tips: choose a dull color, make sure the surface is firm/hard, and make sure it has a uniform shape. Typically when I make sure those three tips are followed, I always find the best one!

Raspberries: They are a rich source of nutrients, minerals and vitamins. When included in your daily diet, they can help lower your risk of cancer, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases. Raspberries have also been known to enhance fertility. The sweet taste and the soft texture make them the most craved fruit, especially for me. They are also low in fat and calories but very high in fiber. This makes them a great treat for someone that is trying to lose weight. One of the greatest facts about raspberries is that the antioxidants in the berries help aid in treating depression. So a raspberry is a fruit that makes you happy? Eat away!

Although there are many health benefits of consuming different fruits, there is also one big thing to consider. Many fruits are high in sugar. Yes, that sugar is natural, but either way it packs additional calories into your diet. What I like to do is save my fruit for after a meal. I treat it sort of like a dessert, because not only is it sweet and delicious, but it should also be consumed in moderation!

Are my favorite fruits not the same as yours? The article 31 Favorite Fruits and the Nutrients they Contain gives you the nutritional value of every fruit you have probably consumed. Take a look and see what you are gaining from eating your favorite fruits!

 

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”

~Kenzi Weidman

Protein in a Bite

Pic 1Recently I’ve started to look for different ways to take in protein. My everyday diet normally doesn’t include a lot of meat, and eating Greek yogurt all the time was starting to get old. Knowing that protein is key for muscle recovery after a workout, I was trying to find a quick way to take it in, but chugging protein shakes didn’t really appeal to me either.  A friend of mine suggested that I try to make protein balls, so after some extensive research (Pinterest) I found the perfect recipe to give me that little protein boost throughout the day I was looking for. I really enjoyed this recipe and thought it would be the perfect addition to our blog site.

Before I dive into this delicious recipe, I think it’s important to know exactly what proteins are and what they do for us. Proteins aid in supporting your entire body from cells to organs. Bones, hormones, antibodies, keratin are all made up of proteins. To get a further in-depth break down of each specific role each protein plays, check out this website. Proteins play a bigger role in our nutrition and health than I originally had realized, so I was thrilled to find out about protein balls.

On average it is said that woman should take in about 46 grams of protein a day, and men roughly 56 grams. Now for some this isn’t a hard feat, but as I mentioned before I tend to struggle with that. Protein balls are simple, easy, and you can alter them to your own liking. I went with a cranberry almond banana protein ball. I altered the recipe only slightly to cater to my own taste buds.

Active Time: 15 minutes     Serving Size: 1 ball

Total Time: 15 minutes       Makes: 14 balls

Calories per serving: 98   Fat per serving: 5 grams

Fiber: 2 grams. Protein: 5 grams. Sodium: 39 mg. Saturated fat: 1 gram. Sugars: 6 grams. Carbs: 9 g.

*The nutritional facts may be varied differently than the original recipe (http://www.healthyseasonalrecipes.com/sunflower-seed-protein-balls/) because I used almonds instead of sunflower seeds. *

Ingredients

  • 1 very ripe banana, mashed
  • ½ cup seven seed butter (found at Sentry)                                                           
  • ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 4 scoops vanilla soy protein powder
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, preferably fruit juice sweetened

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The execution itself is fairly simple. Mix together the banana, seven seed butter, and honey in a food processor (I did it by hand because I didn’t own one). It should form a paste like consistency.

Pic 3

Next, add the protein powder, coconut flour, cinnamon, almonds, and cranberries. Mix together. The consistency will be slightly drier than before, but don’t worry this is supposed to happen.

Pic 4

Then take the mixture and form into balls. Put in the refrigerator.

pic 5

The end product was delicious and now I have a quick snack to eat before or after a workout! You can even snack on them throughout the day for a quick protein boost!

Stay healthy. Stay strong.

Mary Marren

Spice, Spice Baby

picYou know that feeling of dissatisfaction when you’re either at home or out to eat and you’re ready to indulge in that first bite of food of which looked full of flavor but instead after that first bite you mutter “pass the salt”? And oh hey! While we’re at it, let’s talk about the even worse feeling when the food still tastes so plain that you gotta pull a “pass the pepper”. Before you know it your food is covered in more salt and pepper than George Clooney’s head! You try to boost the flavor as much as you can but you realize it’s a lost cause. Your food was most likely plain from the start due to the lack of variety in ingredients and spices, so next time this happens to you at a restaurant pass some oregano, cayenne and basil the chef’s way because he needs it! Actually, so do you! Not only do spices add flavor but they add nutritional value and can boost your metabolism! Here’s some of the top few spices that are used to enhance your meal’s nutritional value along with how to consume it/what it goes good with.

1.) Cinnamon: This is one that I personally utilize the most and consume pretty much every day, in fact I had a little cinnamon shaker in my dorm room. It’s very easy to pair with, I add it to my oatmeal instead of brown sugar, and also to tea, coffee, and if I want to fight a sweet tooth I’ll cut up a banana and top it with honey and cinnamon. I am a big fan of the honey and cinnamon combo because it’s so tasty but turns out it also fight arthritis pain! Cinnamon is a natural remedy to headaches and migraines! It also stabilizes blood sugar, which is great for weight loss!

2.) Oregano: Another easy one to pair, I use this for eggs, pasta sauce, salad, tofu, quinoa, grilled tomatoes and much more. You can pretty much trust that oregano with pair nicely with any savory or salty-like dish. Nutrition expert Dr. Bazilian says that “one teaspoon has as much antioxidant power as three cups of chopped broccoli (but don’t ditch the broccoli- have both!)” It’s among the highest in antioxidants of dried herbs!

3.) Cayenne: This one is a hit or miss for some people, because spicy food is not everyone’s cup of tea. But did you know that this spicy food can be a cup of tea?  Combined with lemon juice and honey, it is an excellent morning beverage for a total detox. But besides that if this spice is too spicy for you try adding a pinch of it to similar foods that you would combine oregano with, such as eggs. Also, it goes great with avocado! I personally love Cayenne, I try to sneak it into foods as much as possible to get all of the many benefits that it obtains. Studies show that those who had cayenne pepper in their breakfast had less of an appetite and therefore less caloric intake throughout the day. Cayenne is also a great metabolic booster, and aids in burning excess amounts of fats.

4.) Sea salt: While salt should not be over used, it has many health benefits! Sea salt even more so than table salt, since it is obtained directly through the evaporation of seawater. It is usually not processed so it still has minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium and other nutrients! It is effective in reducing inflammation in the respiratory system. Most surprising of all, sea salt can also help you lose weight by creating digestive juices so the foods you eat are digested faster.

So next time you are cooking and you come across a step in your directions that says to “add salt to taste” don’t stop there! Think of all of the benefits you can get from just a pinch of one of your favorite spices! Also get creative with it and think of all the ways you can incorporate these spices and what you can replace with spices such as salad dressing, sugar, and table salt! Make a habit of using these super ingredients and spice it up!

“It’s a good day to have a good day!”

-Alena Purpero ♡

Sweet or Salty?

picWe have all heard of the expressions, “ I have a sweet tooth,” or “I crave salty foods” from time to time, but have you ever stopped to think about what exactly that means? I have plenty of friends who crave burgers and French fries, but those things never really appealed to me. On the other hand, put a cookie in front of my face and I’m hopeless. After thinking about this for a little bit it got me to think that maybe it’s a little bit more that just different taste buds.

Salty Cravings.

Craving salt can come from a few different sources. One reason why you may crave salt is because you have a mineral deficiency. Our bodies do need salt (About a Tsp. a day) so if it is not getting the normal dosage of natural salt you will begin to turn towards salty foods such as chips or French fries. I also found a study in my research that suggests that salt cravings could be due to lack of calcium in your diet. According to Michael Tordoff, Ph. D., a researcher at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, “Sodium temporarily increases calcium levels in the blood, which tricks the body into thinking the problem is solved.” The study also goes on to saying that lack of potassium, calcium, and iron may also be the cause for all those salty cravings! Another reason you may be craving all those French fries is because you are dehydrated. If you are someone who needs salty foods after an intense workout, you may have lost too many electrolytes from sweating. Try replenishing your body with a Gatorade or another electrolyte booster drink.

Careful! Although our bodies need salt, too much salt could lead to trouble. An excessive amount of salt could cause you to feel dizzy, or dehydrated. Even worse, over a long period of time eating too much salt can lead to high blood pressure and a higher risk of a heart attack.

Sweet Tooth

Now on to the “sweet tooths” of the world, such as myself. When I looked up the cause of having a sweet tooth, the word serotonin came up a few times. For those who aren’t quite sure what that is (me) here is the textbook definition:

“Serotonin is a chemical created by the human body that works as a neurotransmitter. It is regarded by some researchers as a chemical that is responsible for maintaining mood balance, and that a deficit of serotonin leads to depression.”

So for short, serotonin is a chemical that makes you feel good. One food that is known for releasing serotonin in the brain is chocolate. So every time you need a quick pick me and want to feel good, reaching for that chocolate bar wouldn’t be surprising. Even though dark chocolate is actually good for you, chocolate donuts, chocolate ice cream, or chocolate cookies are not. Unfortunately. Another reason for sugar cravings is sleep deprivation. Since sweets usually have a lot of sugar in them, eating a cupcake will give you a quick sugar spike that will make you temporarily forget you’re sleep deprived.

Whether it is salty or sweet food cravings can come from all over the place, and the best thing to do when they strike is know how to handle it! Make sure your body is always properly hydrated and well rested. Stop rewarding yourself with a cookie when you do something good! Thinking that sweets are a reward just tricks our body into the cycle that good=sweets, which ultimately equals bad. Cravings can also come from your sensory to foods. Don’t give into eating ice ream because it’s cold and feels good on a hot day.

Just incase you need a little bit more on good foods to turn to when those cravings hit, check out this chart provided by MindBodyGreen:

What are you Craving?          Examples                                       Try instead…

Chewy                                      Cookies, brownies                          Oatmeal bars, dried fruit

Crunchy                                    Chips, crackers                              Crisp veggies like carrot

Cold                                          Ice cream; Milk shakes                  Frozen bananas

Creamy                                     Pudding; Creamed soups              Greek yogurt, avocados

Tangy                                       Salad dressing; Ketchup                Lemon, salsa

 

Stay Healthy, Stay Strong.

Mary Marren

Nuts: Let’s Crack the Truth

57422040 Mixed nuts

I am a believer in reading nutrition labels with everything that I eat. I want to know what I am eating, how many calories, and all of the information I can get.  I won’t lie, when it comes to nuts, I try to stay clear. Not only are they high in fat, but you only get a small handful for around 200 calories. Think of the things you could eat for 200 calories that are much larger in size?

My parents have always tried making me eat almonds as a snack, and I asked them “Are you nuts? Have you seen how high in fat they are?” They laughed at me, and I wondered why? Watching my friends consume all different types of nuts every day really made me wonder, what are the benefits of such a small snack? So I did my research and found this:

AlmondsThey are packed with vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fibers that are needed for a healthy diet. Just one serving of almonds equals 1/8 of the amount of protein you need each day. Almonds do contain a high level of unsaturated fat, but as you would have read in previous blogs, unsaturated fat is HEALTHY (in moderation of course)! Also, eating a handful of almonds a day is a great way to get the vitamin E your body needs to stay healthy. That was enough proof for me to believe that they were good for me. I also found that snacking on almonds kept me more full than other snacks I choose. Looking for more reasons why almonds are HEALTHY and AMAZING? Check out What are the health benefits of almonds?.

PistachiosMy favorite part is cracking them! I only go for the salted ones, but I can handle a little extra salt in my diet because I have low blood pressure (Blood Pressure). Jessica Bruso, holder of a science degree in food policy and applied nutrition, states “Pistachios contain fewer calories and more potassium and vitamin K per serving than other nuts.” (Health Benefits of Pistachios) She also researched and found “A 1-ounce serving of dry-roasted pistachios contains 160 calories, 6 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and 15 grams of fat, including only 2 grams of saturated fat.” The biggest thing with pistachios is limiting your portions. In reality, that is with all foods! Pistachios are my personal favorite so over-eating them does happen. One trick I like to do is measure out a serving and put them in separate bags. That way, when I want a snack, I can finish the whole bag and know that it was one serving.

PecansThey are enriched with many health benefiting nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are essential every day. Pecans are also great source of energy. According to Power In Your Diet, Pecans “are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid and an excellent source of phenolic antioxidants. Regular addition of pecan nuts in the diet helps to decrease total as well as LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increases HDL or “good cholesterol” levels in the blood.” Does this mean you should load up on the pecan pie? Probably not, but adding a hand full of pecan nuts every day in your diet will help keep sufficient levels of minerals, vitamins, and protein. Be smart, and snack on!

WalnutsIf you can handle cracking the shell open, then do it! Walnuts are not only delicious, but the soft, easy-to-chew texture makes it one of the world’s favorite nuts. They are very rich in Vitamin E and also help reduce the risk of prostate cancer and breast cancer. (Walnut Benefits) Walnuts are also very high in fat. In 1 cup there is about 52 grams of fat but only 4.2 grams of that is saturated fat. (The Walnut) That is still a lot of fat, but remember, everything is good in moderation.

PeanutsThe most common nut out there due to the cheap price. Peanuts are more readily-available and cheaper to grow which is why they are so cheap. According to Nutrition and You, “Peanuts are an excellent source of resveratrol, another polyphenolic antioxidant. Resveratrol has been found to have protective function against cancers, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and viral/fungal infections.” (Facts of Peanuts) One thing that makes a peanut odd is that it is referred to as a legume, not a nut. (Peanut) They also contain more saturated fat so be careful when consuming and make sure you only eat one serving.

Nuts taste great and can also be great for you. When you see high calorie food labels with such small portions, don’t avoid them. Check out the nutrition facts and ingredients and usually you will be able to detect why. I can honestly say that now, Almonds are my absolute favorite snack!

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”

~Kenzi Weidman

Eating Healthy at Subway

subway logo picSomething that I have always struggled with is eating a healthy lunch. Mostly because I am always on the go and finding time to make a healthy lunch to bring to work or class can be very time consuming. And trying to find somewhere quick to stop and eat healthy can be almost impossible. So decided I’d do some research of my own and figure out, if I have to, where to go out to eat and what to get.

In case you didn’t have time the night before, or whatever the case is, Subway is one of the healthiest “fast food” chains that most people will have in driving distance of where they work, without spending a fortune. Now the trick is to order the right sub, with the right toppings and dressings.

First lets start off with two of the better choices for 6” subs on 9-Grain Wheat bread, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green peppers and cucumbers (does not include cheese):

Veggie Delite

230 Calories

2.5g Total Fat

0.5g Saturated Fat

280mg Sodium

5g Fiber

8g Protein

Oven Roasted Chicken

320 Calories

5g Total Fat

1g Saturated Fat

610mg Sodium

5g Fiber

23g Protein

 

Next we’ll take a look at two of the options to stay away from. Also remember that these numbers are only for a 6” sub. These subs are on 9-Grain Wheat bread, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green peppers and cucumbers (does not include cheese):

Spicy Italian

480 Calories

24g Total Fat

9g Saturated Fat

1490mg Sodium

5g Fiber

20g Protein

Big Philly Cheesesteak

500 Calories

17g Total Fat

9g Saturated Fat

1280mg Sodium

6g Fiber

38g Protein

 

The best and worst choices for bread are:

Best:

9-Grain Wheat

210 Calories

2g Total Fat

0.5g Saturated Fat

280mg Sodium

4g Fiber

8g Protein

Worst:

Roasted Garlic

230 Calories

2.5g Total Fat

0.5 Saturated Fat

1240mg Sodium

2g Fiber

9g Protein

 

The best and worse choices for cheese:

Best:

Swiss

50 Calories

4.5g Total Fat

2.5g Saturated Fat

30mg Sodium

0g Fiber

2g Protein

 

Worst:

Processed American cheese

40 Calories

3.5g Total Fat

2g Saturated Fat

200mg Sodium

0g Fiber

2g Protein

And last but not least we have condiments. This is a tricky one because the best condiment is no condiment. I’ve seen plenty of times when someone ahead of me has a very promisingly, healthy looking sub and steps up to the last station and says “a bunch of mayo”. There is more fat in a single serving of mayo than in a lot of subs! So be careful when it comes to this.

Best:

Vinegar (1tsp)

Vinegar has no nutritional values and helps the taste of subs by making it not so dry.

Yellow or Brown Mustard (2tsp)

5 Calories

0g Total Fat

0g Saturated Fat

115mg Sodium

0g Fiber

0g Protein

 

Worst:

Mayonnaise (1tsp)

110 Calories

12g Total Fat

2g Saturated Fat

80mg Sodium

0g Fiber

0g Protein

Chipotle Southwest:

100 Calories

10g Total Fat

1.5g Saturated Fat

220mg Sodium

0g Fiber

0g Protein

Well to recap, in order to want to eat at Subway and be healthy about it, you have to restrict your options to certain choices.

Watch the sodium intake. There is a large amount of sodium found in a lot of restaurants like Subway, so remember to keep that in mind in order to keep a balanced diet.

Condiments: the biggest danger of all. Make sure to really know how many calories and grams of fat each one has before making your next visit to Subway.

Skip the soda and get a free cup of water. There are empty calories and sugar in soda that can be easily avoid for free! Actually you will save money by saving your health.

Skip the chips and get a bag of apples. After all, an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Hopefully this can be as eye opening to you as it was to me about the choices you make at places like Subway

If you are interested in seeing the nutrition facts on your favorite subs or other choices at Subway, you can find all of that information here.

Yesterday you said tomorrow.

-Eric Hess

Don’t Panic, Eat Organic!

organic picSummer, a time where you not only get three months of (almost) worry free bliss and warm weather, but a time where some of your favorite fruits and veggies are in season. For me personally, summer calls for eating more whole foods because I have more time on my hands to prepare and cut up fruits and veggies and discover new recipes with fresh produce. Plus, I think it’s safe to say that we all love a good slice of watermelon or some delicious strawberries on a summer day. We love fruit during the hot weather because it’s refreshing and healthy, what could be wrong with fruit? It is natural after all. However, have you ever found yourself in the midst of indulging in a slice of watermelon wondering why there are no seeds in it? …Probably not, since a lot of us think of seedless watermelon to be more convenient because who wants those annoying little black seeds in the way of you going to watermeltown? But the unfortunate truth is that a lot of our beloved fruits and veggies that we assume are totally fresh and natural may have been genetically modified and/or have been raised using conventional methods to fertilize and control weeds. Terrifying I know, so what is the solution to this you ask? Organic and GMO free products!

Now, what qualifies as organic? Organic means that agricultural product such as fruits, veggies, grains, dairy products and meat has been grown or raised without using conventional methods. Instead, organic farming practices use natural fertilizers to feed soil and plants with crop rotation or mulch to manage weeds.

What is GMO? GMO means genetically modified organism, for instance, seedless watermelon. The label “organic” usually means GMO free but unfortunately not all of the time! Since there are loop holes, produce can be genetically modified and considered “organic”. So keep an eye out for the GMO certification as well as organic!

What are conventional methods and why are they bad? As far as conventional methods go there are a few different types that come with their own con’s and risks. First off, there is the use of chemical and synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, which is harmful to the environment and to us. These chemicals contain neurotoxins which are damaging to brain and nerve cells. Not only are they used within conventional methods but eighteen percent of genetically modified seeds are engineered to produce their own pesticides. Even worse, studies show that these seeds may continue to produce pesticides after you’ve eaten the food that grows from them. I don’t know about you, but eating food that manufactures it’s own pesticide inside of you is not my cup of tea. Another conventional method is the use of antibiotics which are used to speed growth and fatten up animals in the meat and poultry industries. These are only a couple of the methods used on conventional farms, you can check out more methods such as mono-cropping and genetic-engineering and modification and details about them here.

What are the benefits of organic food? A common misconception of the idea of organic food is that it is a guarantee that it is healthier. But it really depends on what type of food you are banking on to be deemed as healthier. For example: unfortunately, your organic potato chips still aren’t going to be your healthiest pick at the grocery store. However, just because the label “organic” doesn’t mean unnatural products like chips are healthy, it does mean that any whole foods that are natural are increased in nutritional value if they are organic. According to care2.com research shows that organic food is higher in nutrients, and in vitamin C, antioxidants, and the minerals calcium, iron, chromium, and magnesium. So if you’re talking organic produce oppose to factory made groceries, you go ahead and get down with your organic eatin’-bad self because there are many health benefits that come along with organic eating.

Some may be skeptical about the idea of organic eating. Due to inconvenience and the price ect. Going about your life constantly asking and checking if a certain food is organic is a concept that makes some people cringe due to it seeming to be a huge hassle. But you do not have to go to the extreme of being one hundred percent organic in order to receive the benefits that come with organic eating. Simply incorporating more organic food into your life will be a positive impact to your health. When it comes to expenses, organic food is making it’s way into more stores and restaurants therefore making it more common, accessible, and affordable. So next time you see the word organic labeled on a food product, think about what it means and the benefits that come with it.  Being knowledgeable about conventionally raised produce will help you avoid enduring the negative effects that come with it. So switch up you summer fruit feasts and make it organic, and eat clean to feel healthy!

“It’s a good day to have a good day!”

-Alena Purpero ♡

Kickboxing

kickboxing picWhen I think of kickboxing I tend to think of tough, ripped, really intense people who spend all day punching bags. It is a sport that I’ve always been interested in, but being the yoga lovin’-paddle boarding-runner that I am, I’ve never considered myself that “tough,” therefore I’ve been too chicken to try it. After seeing my friend promote her kickboxing class on social media for a few weeks, I decided to give up my sissy ways and take the plunge.

My first thought when I started the class was, “woah.” Half way through the class my thoughts progressed to, “WOAH,” and when the class was over, my body was too tired to even process thinking. I knew kickboxing was intense, but I never imagined it being THAT intense. It was awesome.

The 9Round Fitness Gym is a kickboxing gym made up of 9 stations that each person rotates in and out of. Here is a brief description of the stations directly from the website:

Stations 1 and 2 consist of “STRENGTH BUILDING”. You will use Dumb Bells, Kettle Bells, Medicine Balls, Jump Ropes, and other equipment to build strength and stamina.

Stations 3-8 are where the real FUN begins. You will strike a variety of bags including 100lb Heavy Bags to build power, double end bags to increase hand eye coordination and timing, and speed bags to develop shoulder conditioning and speed.

Station 9 is dedicated to the core. We want to get you as strong as possible and the CORE is the key. Besides all the other kicking and punching that you will be doing, we dedicate a full station to strengthening the most important part of your body

All together the full rotation is 30 minutes long. Each station is 3 minutes long, and then you do 30 seconds of intense movement (ex: burbees, pushups, jumping jacks, mountain climbers) until your next station.”

Although the workout is short, my friend and kickboxing trainer Brittany assured me, “The stations incorporate different kickboxing and boxing techniques through circuit training, strength training, aerobic and anaerobic exercises.” She also went on to saying that on average you burn anywhere between 300-500 calories. Not bad for 30 minutes! And I believe it too, because after that time I was feeling the burn.

I personally found the whole experience very transforming. It gave me the chance to feel tough and powerful, and not like a weak duckling for once. This is something that I would recommend to ANYONE who has ever had the urge to try kickboxing. Although intimidating at first, at 9Round they have personal trainers guiding and pushing you the whole way. On top of that, your first class is free! The 9Round gyms are located in Oak Creek, Brookfield, Madison East and Madison West, but if you have your eyes on another kickboxing gym go check it out! It doesn’t hurt to just try it, and believe me, if I can do it, you can do it. I was afraid to try it and now I can’t wait to go back! Good luck!

Stay Healthy, Stay Strong.

Mary Marren

To check out more information about kickboxing or prices to the 9Round gym, please feel free to visit their website!

Love your Metabolism

how-to-increase-metabolism

Ah, the beautiful phrase “high metabolism”. Having a high metabolism essentially means that you can eat more food and not have to worry about the consequences. Those with lower metabolisms struggle burning the food they ate off and have to eat less in order to lose weight. While everyone is trying to get on diets to lose weight, maybe it’s time you try and speed up your metabolism instead. “Wait you can do that?” You sure can and here are some ways how!

Drink more water! Drinking more water has so many benefits it’s almost unbelievable. Drinking water can boost your body’s ability to burn fat and when you drink water before your meals, your body gets full faster, so you naturally eat less. There are millions of blogs to read about the benefits of water itself. Here is a calculator to figure out how much water you are supposed to drink a day.

Work out. Studies have shown that people with more muscle, have a higher metabolism and burn more calories. Every pound of muscle burns about six calories a day, when fat burns only about two calories a day. Every pound of fat takes 3500 calories to burn and you’ll be three times faster to burning fat if you work hard.

Eat healthier. I don’t just mean eating food that you hate. Eat all of the food groups and try to get your recommended servings of each. The natural vitamins and minerals in healthier foods help spark your metabolism into action. And if you can, eat spicy foods. Spicy foods also have natural metabolism boosters if you can handle the heat. The spicy foods have something called capsaicin in them, which is where they get their heat. This element also gives a temporary rise in metabolism of up to 8% and can help suppress your desire to eat.

Caffeine. Drinking a cup of coffee or tea a day with caffeine in it actually helps your metabolism speed up as well for short term. How many calories we burn at rest is called Resting Metabolic Rate and the higher our metabolism is the higher our RMR is. Caffeine increases our metabolism speed in some studies by as much as 29%!!! Caffeine can also increase your endurance while you exercise and in some cases give you a better workout.

Mix up your cardio. If you always go for long runs or bike rides, mix it up and do some hill sprints or anything that really gets your heart going. It changes up your routine and gives your body something different to deal with which in return speeds up your metabolism. Try the insanity classes at the Williams Center for example, or any other of our great group fitness classes. They will get you heart going for sure!

CHEAT. Give yourself a cheat day and indulge yourself with your favorite juicy hamburger every once in awhile. It helps your body almost restart your diet and tricks your metabolism in a way. After all, you deserve it. Just make sure to not go overboard.

Have any suggestions? Or did you try out these tips? We’d love to hear your results if you did.

Yesterday you said tomorrow.

-Eric Hess

Sources: http://www.mensfitness.com/training/lose-weight/the-8-best-things-you-can-do-for-your-metabolism

http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-boost-your-metabolism

Claim vs. Truth: Do Weight-Loss Supplements Really Work?

Admit it; the first time you saw a commercial for a supplement that was going to help you “lose weight fast without having to exercise or diet” you were a little bit intrigued. The ads ALWAYS have a sexy, tan, muscular man or women giving you an image to compare your current self with. At some point, they usually say, “It takes more than nutrition and exercise to get six-pack abs.” It all sounds legit. Let’s take a look at the three top-sellers and see if they really work or if it is all a scam.Claim vs. Truth

Claim: Raspberry Ketones Raspberry ketone is the natural phenolic compound found in red raspberries (Rubus idaeus). This chemical compound is what gives raspberries their scent. It is used to promote lipolytic activity, which in layman’s terms means it “breaks down fat”. This supplement is one of the top “doctor recommended” products making it one of the most popular in stores.

Truth: Raspberry Ketones is NOT a weight-loss miracle in a bottle. The Huffington Post wrote about Raspberry Ketones and found out that “Raspberry ketones have never been tested on humans in scientific studies.” (Raspberry Ketones) The article also advises, “When you hear raspberry ketone claims such as “slicing up fat molecules,” “burning fat easier,” or “weight-loss miracle,” change the channel.” There also has been no testing on what the right dosage really is in order for it to be safe. Also, have you ever read the bottle of Raspberry Ketones? This is what is what you would find: “This information has not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, nor has it gone through the rigorous double-blind studies required before a particular product can be deemed truly beneficial or potentially dangerous and prescribed in the treatment of any condition or disease.” (Raspberry Ketones)

Claim: Green Coffee Bean Extract helps you lose weight without diet and exercise. It contains chlorogenic acid, which comes from not roasting the beans. It helps control the body’s blood sugar and metabolism. The article Enough is Enough–The Scientific Truth states that “Chlorogenic acid is supposed to slow down your body’s absorption of glucose, which promotes weight loss.”

Truth: Research has found that those claims have ONLY occurred in severely obese individuals. Also it can negatively affect your body due to the caffeine you would be consuming as mentioned in the article Helpful or All Hype? Too much caffeine causes insomnia, gastrointestinal problems, and increased heart rate. Also, Dr. Oz conducted his own test with 100 women. In 2 weeks, the average weight loss was two pounds whereas the women taking the placebo pill lost one pound.

Claim: Garcinia Cambogia helps burn fat and decrease your appetite. It is also known as Gambooge and has been described as “magic”, “holy grail”, and “body-fat buster” according to television commercials. The Enough is Enough–The Scientific Truth article states “Gambooge is supposed to burn fat because it is a great source of hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is supposed to decrease your appetite. The supplement you buy is usually the HCA extracted from the fruit.”

Truth: The Helpful or All Hype? article states, “In traditional medicine, garcinia cambogia is used as a laxative!” You pop the pill, eat, and then poop it all out. How can anyone think that is “healthy”? Also, according to the Enough is Enough–The Scientific Truth article, this study has only been done on rats, NOT humans. Consumer reports states that the supplement “slows the body’s ability to absorb fat,” “replaces fat with toned muscles,” and even improves your mood and suppressing “the drive to react to stressful situations with food.” (No Miracle Weight-Loss Pill) In the article, Steven Heymsfield, M.D., the former head of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La. Explains that “HCA does do that—but in a petri dish and converting that to actual weight loss in humans would take 1,000 steps beyond that.”

It is all about hard work and dedication. Make healthy changes in your life to lose weight. Don’t rely on a pill to do it for you. You will have more pride in yourself and more confidence in your body because you did it all with your own inner strength. I, myself, have lost 70lbs. in the last 2 years all because of healthy eating and exercise. People thought I was on a supplement because they didn’t think I could lose the weight all on my own. I proved them wrong, and I did it in a healthy way. If I can do it, I promise that you can too!

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”

~Kenzi Weidman

Sources: Green Coffee Bean Extract, Helpful or All Hype?, Fat Burners: The Unadulterated Truth, Raspberry Ketones, No Miracle Weight-Loss Pill