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Showing posts from June, 2011

The Color of Health

Summer Foods Incorporated

So, this really isn’t rocket science, I know…
Most of you are more than likely already incorporating summer foods into your diet without needing any assistance. But sometimes getting a little reminder on how you can add a few more fresh summer fruits and veggies into your favorite meals really helps.

The key to remember is that a little goes a long way. I used to think that bringing home a container of berries meant that I had to eat the whole carton in one sitting to get the benefits of the fruit. However, if you spread your intake from breakfast to lunch to dinner and beyond, you can add some fresh summer foods easily.

In the morning, grab your favorite fruit and toss it on top of your cereal. Only have half a banana left over from the fruit smoothie you made last night? Great: toss it in! But you don’t have to stop there. Other good choices are blueberries, strawberries, and even raisins or dried cranberries.

For lunch you can try a fresh tomato and cucumber sandwich served with hummu…

The Summer Food Advantage

During the summer, you have a lot of things to do. You've got to stay well hydrated, soak up some sun to get all that precious vitamin D, build a few sandcastles, and catch some waves. However, if you don't take advantage of the many great foods that grow in abundance during the warmer months, you're missing out.

But, if you are like some of my clients and friends, you may need some convincing in order to go off and buy those summer foods. In that case, try out these reasons to see how they taste.

They're Colorful: Nothing says summer like bright, fun colors! With that in mind, remember that color is the part of the vegetable or fruit that holds phyto-nutrients and antioxidants in abundance.

In fact, if you want to boost your diet's health rating, you should be looking to ass a wide variety of colors to your meal. Aside from being pretty on the plate, they’re pretty healthy for your body & mind, too!

Speaking of Healthy: Because fruits and vegetables grow in such …

Always Exercise

I’ve often been asked, “How many times a week should I exercise?” Well, the truth is that we should be doing “something” physical every day. This is especially true for us forty (and older) year olds.

The great thing about your body is that it was designed to move, whether or not you're in the gym. One great exercise to improve the strength of your lower body is to perform wall sits. With your feet about a foot from the base of a wall, push your back against the wall and let your body slide down the wall until you are in a sitting position (like you’re on an invisible chair). Be sure to stop when your thighs are parallel to the ground.

Hold this position for as long as possible. Some of my clients have made it to a full 3 minutes!

Another smart way to stay in shape is to skip the elevator and escalator and go for the stairs when shopping, making your way through an airport, or whenever the opportunity presents itself.

And, a good third exercise would be to begin sitting in a chair,…

Go Cardio Crazy

Okay, so you don't want to go completely “crazy” over your cardiovascular routine, but if you are looking to improve your health and energy levels (maybe even shed a few extra pounds), you'll probably need to alter the amount of cardio you subject yourself to on a regular basis.

How much cardio should you be getting each day? I usually say “shoot for an hour, but get at least 30 minutes.” If you are in a part of the country where the summer heat can be overly oppressing, try doing your walk indoors at your local gym, shopping mall, or church recreation hall.

While you may want to push yourself to your limit the entire time, you may be surprised as what alternating between fast and moderate-speeds can do for you. Try doing this; walk as fast as you can manage for about one minute (pretend you’re playing a race with someone – but don’t run!), then walk at a more relaxed rate of speed for up to two minutes.

Doing this will not only increase your energy, cardiovascular strength and s…

Don't Eat Late

Seems everyone has heard this little tip before, but no one seems to take it seriously…

However, if you want to see improvement in your body, you must make improvements in your actions. So in order to cash in on your new, lean, & shapely body try this; cut back on late-night snacks.

A good rule of thumb is to stop eating after 7 p.m. In fact, many of my clients see positive results just by doing this alone. Failing to do so only causes your body to fill up on calories right before bedtime. This is the worst time to stock up on extra calories because you won’t be awake to work them off

Instead, those calories will go wherever they want. And yes, this includes going to your belly, butt and thighs. If you’re a “night owl” and simply must eat something late, be sure to make it something light.

A salad (with a small portion of lean protein and go light on the dressing) works nicely. But before giving in and eating something late in the night, grab your discipline and go to bed.

And I leave …

Bye-Bye, Beer Belly

For many, alcohol is a part of life. While it might not cause you to lose control, and make poor decisions that you may greatly regret, it still has the power to increase the amount of calories you consume on any given day. With that in mind, it is important to have a good game plan to turn the keg that has developed in your abdomen into a flat-belly six-pack worthy of pride.

If you are ready to fight for your healthy shape, you'll need to do the hard thing. You'll have to learn to drink less alcohol… I know it may seem self sacrificing but it is a challenge you CAN overcome. For example, whenever you go into any potential drinking situation, plan to have no more than one drink. It sounds difficult, I know - but it can be done. Simply order a glass of water to go with your alcohol and drink your alcohol slowly and surely.

In addition, you can trim your wine-induced love handles the old fashioned way. Get to the gym and work up a good sweat. When you're there, remember that y…