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Move, Set Limits and Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Move, Set Limits and Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

The holidays are a magical time spent with family and friends and loved ones. Precious moments that will be frozen in time. Thanksgiving is honestly one of my favorite holidays, but I can have the tendency to ” over do it”. We all can, AMIRIGHT? Thanksgiving is the start of a month long celebration and according to this article people have the tendency to gain between 1-5 pounds during that time. We all have holiday parties and multiple “friendsgivings” to attend which can unfortunately lead to a little extra love around the middle. Now, with that said I want all of you to enjoy your holiday gatherings and indulge, but I also wanted to share some health tips from my friends at Baptist Health South Florida to help you seamlessly float through this holiday season like the god or goddess you are.

Amy Kimberlain, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with Baptist Health South Florida says: “The key is having a plan so you can avoid gaining weight. Just like the football teams who play games on Thanksgiving Day, having a game plan going into the holiday season that’s full of food-centered events can help avoid the trap ojf gaining weight this time of year.” Ms. Kimberlain also says portion control and moderation are the keys to success. Focus on filling your plate with salad and fresh vegetables and turkey before filling up on starchy vegetables, filling casseroles and all the wine you can handle.

Want a few tips to help you get through the next couple of weeks without adding to your waistline?

  • Eat beforehand. A small, nutritious snack before the party will help take the edge off your appetite and allow you to resist hors d’oeuvres, reserving calorie intake for the meal. I love having a bowl of oatmeal or a banana with peanut butter.
  • Set limits with yourself. If you’re invited to multiple holiday events, plan to eat a small portion at each one. Or, limit the number of events you attend, reducing the amount of times you’re presented with opportunities to overeat. Only accept invitations to those “can’t miss” events. It is hard to say no…I get it, but you do not have to say “yes” if you don’t want to.
  • Don’t linger around the food table. Move to another location that is less tempting. If I see it…I eat eat. All the yummy holiday food is tempting. Try to not have an hour long conversation next to the Hors d’oeuvres.
  • Maintain an exercise schedule. Try your best to keep up with regular physical activity, Ms. Kimberlain advises. Ten minutes of exercise is better than none. Make sure to fit in a workout the day of a party or event. Grab a friend and go for a walk, or schedule an exercise appointment with yourself, whatever works best for you.

For more fabulous tips from our friends at Baptist Health South Florida make sure to check out this post.  And remember:“Holiday time does not need to be synonymous with weight gain,” Ms. Kimberlain said. “A holiday season free of gaining weight is attainable, especially if you spend less time focusing on food and instead embrace the time with family and friends.” Enjoy the celebrations, enjoy the days with those closest to you and a very happy holiday season to you and yours!

Holiday Health Benefits of Meditation

Holiday Health Benefits of Meditation

Happy Holidays! I feel like with every passing year I see Christmas Trees going up and holiday commercials airing earlier and earlier! Thanksgiving is often tainted by thoughts of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday and anxious family members scoot from tables to brave the hustle and bustle of stressful outlet malls and electronic boutiques. This holiday season I am really trying to stay centered and focused on what truly matters in my life: family, friends, health and obviously all of you!  What makes me happiest is to try and eliminate stress as much as I can.  After three years of constantly being on-the-go I took time this fall to travel abroad with my mother and hubby!  I used this time to focus on my health and wellness and made as much room for self-care as I could.

Self-care is a term that is often thrown around on the inter webs and it is a practice that every daughter, son, sister, brother, mother, father and HUMAN should indulge in. Self-care means taking care of numero uno…Y-O-U.  Taking a bit of time out of your week to check in with yourself and doing something exclusively for you. The stress of the holidays are the perfect time to implement a self care practice like meditation. This article from Baptist Health South Florida along with the American Heart Association suggest, incorporating a meditation practice into your daily routine can significantly can lower several risk factors of heart disease, including blood pressure, stress, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.


(Video: The Baptist Health News Team hears from Beth Ruhmann, certified therapeutic recreation specialist, about the health benefits of meditation. Video by George Carvalho)

The positives of meditation is that it is something that everyone can do. You can use your tablet, computer or phone to practice. I suggest starting your day with a bit of meditation and see how building a healthy positive habit can enhance your day. This article also states that: meditation done while sitting – may also be associated with decreased levels of anxiety and depression, and improved sleep and overall well-being, the AHA guidelines note. During the holidays we can all get overwhelmed with stress and anxiety and let go of what it is truly all about. I encourage you to try this quick video every morning this week and see how you feel. Set the stress of the holidays aside and take some deep breaths and a few minutes of your day to clear your mind.

If you enjoy practicing you may consider download the headspace app and practice any time anywhere! Learn how to breathe deep. Inhale all of the good this holiday season and exhale the bad. For more on the health benefits of meditation from Baptist Health South Florida make sure to read the full article here.

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Truly Have Health Benefits?


Apple Cider Vinegar Detox

Apple Cider Vinegar has been touted as a miracle tonic everywhere from Instagram to Good Morning America! I actually drink it every morning to help me detox and hydrate my cells and truly feel “off” when I miss my morning drink. After chugging the mixture shown above my belly settles and I feel ready to take on the day. I also use it to make a simple salad dressing of ACV, honey, mustard and olive oil. It is tangy, slightly sweet and goes with just about any greens you like. I have seen it used as a toner, hair clarifier, a weightless product and like most vinegars ACV has strong anti bacterial properties and can be used to clean wounds or make a homemade cleaning solution.

Like coconut oil, the benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar seem to be shouted from the rooftops. The benefits seem endless, but there is honestly not a ton of real hard SCIENCE to back up all of the hype. If I am being honest I love using apple cider vinegar, but learned my lesson the hard way by taking a shot of it which in turn made me immediately bring up my breakfast. I have yet to try it as a toner, but like I said before, I literally have a health tonic of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper every morning and it makes me feel like a new human!  I travel with a mixture of it to add to water on my travels, and It is the one thing that works to truly kickstart my day. It will be a mainstay for years to come. The lemon helps to detox and the cayenne pepper revs the metabolism. Most days, I focus on making my gut feel as relaxed and happy as possible and this tonic is my go-to every. single. day.

Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

I wanted to share a little bit of the science behind Apple Cider Vinegar from my friends from Baptist Health South Florida. The article states that the science has proven: “Apple cider vinegar’s effect on the digestion of starch may prove beneficial to diabetes patients and explain the weight loss that has been credited to ACV.” According to a study completed by the University of Arizona, apple cider vinegar has positive effects on those individuals deemed pre-diabetic and those with type 2 diabetes. The study found that a chemical compound found in ACV and other vinegars known as acetic acid helps to decrease the amount of insulin released when consuming starchy vegetables.

When connecting ACV to weight loss the article also states: “this effect of vinegar on insulin production could also prove beneficial to people without insulin sensitivity. “The acetic acid in vinegar limits the absorption of carbohydrates by our bodies,” she said. “That means fewer calories are being consumed and some weight loss may occur.” If you are on medication for diabetes and taking apple cider vinegar make sure to check with your doctor as you may need to lessen your dose of insulin. For more on benefits and other ways to use apple cider vinegar check out this post from Baptist Health South Florida.

Join me in Taking the 21 Day Apple Cider Vinegar Challenge!

If you want to kick-start your day on a healthy note, hydrate your cells and rev your metabolism then I would LOVE for you to take the 21-Day challenge! It takes that long to build a habit and if you focus on doing something healthy for your body first thing in the morning you will continue to put your health first throughout your day!

***This has been a sponsored conversation brought to you by Baptist Health South Florida.

 

 

 

Boxing:5 Reasons to Add it to Your Fitness Regimen With Christa Dipaolo

5 Reasons to Add Boxing to Your Fitness Regimen

This past summer I had the opportunity to experience tons of different workouts thanks to Propel Water. As a woman, taking heavy lifting classes or intense boot camp can classes can be intimidating and often times I would find myself walking right into the Yoga/Barre studio solely based on the fact that I thought I wasn’t ready to for more intensity. Have you felt the same way? If so, I get it. Even though my most consistent form of exercise is Barre, I have been stepping outside of my comfort zone more and more every week. As a former dancer, Barre movement is very familiar to me and I embrace every pulse and plié; however, I crave a little more intensity here and there depending on my mood.

Benefits of Boxing

As we age, resistance training becomes a lot more important in staying healthy and mobile, and since cardio is something I have always struggled with boxing combines cardio and strength win a way that challenges your mind, body and soul. Not just your lungs. I have been hooked ever since. Why? Well I will tell you shortly.

This week, I chatted with Cardio Boxing Superstar Christa Dipaolo. Christa is the creator of Box 180 and THE CUT presented by Equinox. You can find me in her class every Wednesday that I am in town and I always work up a sweat! You may have seen Christa featured on POPSUGAR Fitness or on Good Morning America and if you haven’t…make sure to check out her inspiring Instagram immediately!

THE CUT is a class offered exclusively at Equinox. If you are a member and want to learn ‘the basics” in a fun and inviting environment then make sure to check your schedule for the latest class information. If you are not a member, make sure to read on for more of my favorite boxing gyms and studios in a city near you!

boxing

Why Boxing?

“Want to knockout stress, tone your entire body AND feel like a total bad ass to boot? Then grab your gloves or a set of light hand weights and get punching!  Let’s face it, boxing has become a fitness phenomenon and it isn’t just saved for the ring anymore. It is accessible, effective, fun and for EVERYONE.” -Christa Dipaolo

Increased Gross Motor Function & Coordination:

Boxing is a lot like dancing. You are combining movement patterns and using the beat of the music in class to power you through. Once you get into class and start practicing connected movement of the arms and legs. It can be a challenge, but working on this skill set can really help reduce your risk of injury. We all trip, but some of us trip and fall vs. trip and recover. Why? Because we lack coordination and focus on gross motor skills. Isn’t that reason enough to find a class near you?!

Who Needs Therapy? The short answer…we all do LOL!

Christa says: YES, boxing delivers that toned fighter’s aesthetic however, that’s only secondary to all the amazing therapeutic benefits it provides. Boxing reduces stress, builds confidence and leaves you feeling both empowered and feeling like a total bad ass! And if that isn’t enough to include some power punches to your fitness regiment it gets even better.

Boxing makes you smarter!

Your brain is in over-drive remembering all the drills and skills that you’re performing. Thus, it is mind / body connection at it’s finest. You’re also improving balance, hand-eye coordination, speed, agility and quickness.

You work from head to toe.

Boxing also happens to be a full body workout that incinerates calories. Punching requires power from head to toe. You’re using your legs and hips to power the punches, utilizing more muscle groups which will in turn burn more calories. Want to skip those boring sit-ups? Boxing has you covered! There is a ton of rotation involved to fuel your knockout punches which guarantees those 6-pack abs.

The skills you learn in class may save your life.

#METOO. Learning how to properly kick and punch may help get you out of harms way. Women and young girls for that matter should try their hardest to learn how to properly protect themselves. Even the most basic classes can help you master combinations to keep you safe and sound.

Sweat with Christa here or find a class near you!

P.S. How fierce is she?!

 

 

Find a Group X class or  boxing gym in a major city near you:

New York

Rumble

SHADOWBOX

Title Boxing Club

Gotham

Miami

The Box Miami

5th Street Gym

South Beach Boxing

Punch Boxing for Fitness

Chicago

Franklin Street Boxing Club

Body Shot Boxing Club

TITLE Boxing Club

Unanimous Boxing Gym

Denver

Topeira Boxing Club

Blunt Force Training

Los Angeles 

Prevail Boxing

City of Angels Boxing

Free Spirit Boxing and Fitness

Box N Burn

“Whether you want to improve your cardiovascular fitness, get toned, beat stress or feel like a champion – Boxing has you covered!”

Thanks Christa! If you are looking for information on classes in your area. Feel free to reach out in the comment section below.

 

3 Ways to Incorporate Collagen into Your Diet Today

Collagen Chaos

***This is a sponsored conversation that has been brought to you by Vital Proteins


How to Use Vital Proteins Collagen

I have been posting quite a bit about Collagen lately and using it in everything from soups to smoothies to baking and coffee. As we head into the late fall and the winter months our immune systems tend to run low and sicknesses become hard to ward off. A well balanced diet rich in whole grains, fruits and veggies and lean protein are vital to giving your body proper nutrition to thrive! Unfortunately, as processed foods become more prevalent our bodies become void of important nutrients like collagen that were once part of an average american diet. Thankfully many nutrients can be supplemented and can work wonders on your health and well being.

I have three different types of Vital Proteins Collagen in my cabinets right now and I wanted to share a little bit of how I use each one. Sometimes I feel like we as Americans buy things we see on shelves at Whole Foods, on TV, or as we scroll Instagram, but after receiving them we try them once or twice thinking they will offer you the miracle you have been searching for. More often than not, they end up sitting in our cabinets, on our shelves and never get used. I have to  admit that I let my Beauty Greens hang out for a while before I used them as I am pretty much addicted to my plain collagen peptides that I use every day, multiple times per day. More on that below.

Here is how I use my favorite Vital Proteins Collagen Products: 

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

Collagen Peptides: As you may have learned in this and this post Collagen Peptides are tasteless and will dissolve in anything hot or cold. They can easily be added to your favorite egg dish, smoothies or baked goods, but my favorite way to use them is to upgrade my coffee. With a simple mix of collagen peptides, MCT oil and grass fed butter. They froth up into a sumptuous smoothie.

If you are a guy or gal that is always on-the-go they have individual packets and now have collagen creamers in coconut, vanilla and gingerbread! They are getting rave reviews and are made from organic coconut milk, collagen peptides, vanilla bean and organic spices like nutmeg, ginger and clove. You can keep them on your desk or bring them in your suitcase for an added health boost in your morning java! You can learn more about collagen creamers here.

Vital Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

 Bone Broth Collagen

Bone broth is rich in minerals that support the immune system and contains healing compounds like collagen, glutamine, glycine and proline. The Bone Broth Collagen from Vital Proteins can help heal your gut lining and battle inflammation. When “bad bacteria” in your body gets overgrown your body will become unable to absorb the nutrients necessary for your body to work in tip-top condition.

I love adding Bone Broth Collagen to soups and casseroles like my chicken soup or butternut squash mac and cheese. If you keep the dishes savory the Bone Broth Collagen will remain flavorless and completely dissolve, but you will gain all of the gut healing benefits. You can even make a simple bone broth with vegetables, bones, herbs and Collagen Bone Broth and sip on it during the winter months. Just like you would a cup of tea.

Collagen Beauty Greens With Vital Proteins

Collagen Beauty Greens:

I am not going to lie. I let these Collagen Beauty Greens sit out on my counter for over a month before using them. I have added them to lemon water as a quick post-workout, but my favorite way to use these powdered greens is in a smoothie. The Collagen Beauty Greens are made of a blend of high quality Marine Collagen, combined with organic trees that offer a daily serving of vitamin A, hyaluronic acid and a punch of probiotics for gut health. Which BTW has been a total digestive game changer when added to a high fiber smoothie. If you want clearer and more strong hair skin and nails and increased gut health then I would definitely try these Collagen Beauty Greens.

Green Goddess Smoothie

2 Servings of greens like kale or spinach

1/2 Banana

1 Tbsp flax seeds

1 Carrot

1 Inch of fresh
ginger or turmeric root (If using turmeric add a dash of black pepper for absorption)

1 C of cashew milk

1 Scoop of Collagen Beauty Greens

1 Serving of whey or plant protein

Collagen is making waves in the health and fitness world for good reason! Over time you should begin to notice clearer skin, strong hair and nails and less joint pain. I love that collagen is chock full of protein and can satisfy you between meals or used as a great pre or post workout.

 

 

 

Monday Motivation Moments With TWF: 5 Thoughts to Get You Through the Week

Monday Motivation:

Make time to check in with your yourself and take time for self-care. It is of the utmost importance.

The past three years have been a whirlwind of planes, trains and automobiles. Although I would power through my days  I would often times feel like I wasn’t even living in my body anymore. I was dealing with constant fatigue, trips to Urgent Care and a longing for a routine and more one on one time with my husband. You know, the simple things in life most of us take for granted. This past month, I took some time off from all of the travel and focused solely on getting back to a place that I love.

Sure, my Instagram feed and Facebook pages only show a happy, healthy woman who is constantly on-the-go and some days I did feel like her, but as of late, I was feeling like a less shiny version of the happy girl I know and love. So what did I do? I started to really check in and ask myself what I needed. I came to the realization it was a very simple formula: sleep more, sweat often, reconnect with friends/family and eat a variety of whole nutrient dense foods.

It was a simple formula that for some can feel like climbing mount everest! Easier said than done right?  I am very blessed to be able to have more control over my schedule than your average 9-5 person, but you do have more time in your schedule than you think. If you feel you don’t, I suggest sitting down at the calendar and scheduling time for your doctors appointments, workout classes and even time with friends. I had myself convinced that there was something very wrong with my body and saw everyone from the endocrinologist to allergist. Aside from a TMJ issue, I was just simply run down, and you might be too.

For me, my first stop was to my acupuncturist. I was placed on an adrenal fatigue remedy that helped me begin to feel better almost immediately. The past few weeks I took the time to workout at least four times per week and not beat myself up when I missed a day at the gym. I focused on my nutrition and also indulged in foods that satisfy my soul. I spent time with friends and Cory and finally feel like I am back to the real me again for the first time in a long time.

Bruno Mars Calves

Bruno Mars has exceptionally large calves for his small body

On a lighter note; Cory and I went to the Bruno Mars concert at he BB & T center last night! Bruno belted out everything from Versace on the Floor to Just the Way You Are. He is an absolutely phenom and has been one of my all time favorites for years now. Yes he is very tiny, but the MAN can he dance! A mix of Michael, James and Elvis yet totally 2017. I would definitely recommend seeing him the next time he is in your city! My thought of the day is not about his musical prowess or his cute dimples, but it is about his lower half. HIS CALVES.  They are very large and muscular and I could not help but be distracted…cue my ADD. Strange I know, but I felt the need to share…my man has very large calves. LOL

Monday Motivations

Fresh Flowers make me REALLY FREAKING HAPPY.

Every Monday while home I don’t wait for my husband to walk in the door with fresh flowers (although he does…sometimes). I go to Whole Foods or Fresh Market and buy myself a simple arrangement or a beautiful bloom in a happy color. I arrange them in my grandmothers vases and single blooms in her tiny trinkets and place them around my house. Fresh blooms can brighten up any home and they always make me smile.

Neat and Tidy Home Motivation Tips

A neat and tidy space yields a more successful day.

While on the road 24/7 I had a completely meltdown last year and finally hired a cleaning lady to come every two weeks. I love her. I adore her and I now cannot live without her; however, being home the whole month meant it was no sweat to keep the house tidy and clean. I actually used cleaning as a bit of downtime doing mindless activity.

So at night, I suggest organizing and cleaning your house, apartment or room to the best of your ability. You will feel much less chaos by starting your day in a neat and tidy place. I am not saying you should become a total neat freak, but there are some serious benefits of putting all of your stuff away and getting those pesky dirty dishes out of the sink.

Motivation Time

Making time for girl-time or friends should be a top priority! Single, married or in a relationship.

When I first moved to Miami I felt like an alien from another planet. I drove a Jetta that I loved and not a “fancy car”.  I didn’t have many designer things and I smiled a lot. It was not until I walked into Inner Balance Studio that I finally met my people. I have made some incredible friends down here in Miami and we always talk about how we met our bestie was by going to workout classes or sweat related function. We like to go to fitness events and squeeze in a class here and there and always leave feeling happier and more well connected than when we showed up. So if you are feeling a bit lonely, isolated or in need of movement sign up for a class immediately. You never know who you are going to meet.

 

 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Nutrition and Early Detection

Diet Tips For Decreasing Your Cancer Risk

This is a very tough month for many people as October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Unfortunately, most, if not all of us have been effected by cancer in some way, shape or form. Did you know that many cancers diagnosed in the United States every year can be linked to body fatness, physical inactivity, excess alcohol consumption or poor nutrition? The good news is that this means these diseases can be prevented to some extent, according to recent studies and the American Cancer Society. Obviously, genetics play a very large role as well and should not be discounted in any way.

Eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains should be the when trying to achieve healthy body mass index thus decreasing your risk of developing or dying from cancer. According to this article from Baptist Health South Florida: “Avoiding tobacco, excess alcohol consumption, keeping a healthy weight and exercising regularly significantly reduces a person’s lifetime risk of developing or dying from cancer. Moreover, the same behavior can lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes.”  Heart disease and diabetes are also plaguing our country at an alarming rate.

Watch this video for more tips on Diet Tips to Lower Your Risk“.

(Video: Alice Pereira and Susan Nowrouzi, registered dietitians and cancer nutrition specialists at Baptist Health South Florida, outline dietary guidelines that can help lower your risks for many cancers while promoting general health.)

Not only are developing healthy habits key in keeping you healthy and cancer-free, but so are acquiring annual mammograms and self-exams. If you are like me, and have no breast cancer occurance in your immediate family and are under the age of 40 then simply get to know your breast tissue by performing monthly self breast exams.

Perform self exams by:

Placing a pillow under your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move the pads of your fingers around your right breast gently in small circular motions covering the entire breast area and armpit. Use light, medium, and firm pressure. Squeeze the nipple; check for discharge and lumps. If something feels painful, lumpy or “off” then contact your Ob/Gyn for further examination.

Diet Tips For Decreasing Your Cancer Risk

 

BRCA Gene and Breast Cancer

If breast cancer does run in your family then consider getting tested for the BRCA Gene, even if you are under the age of 40. About 15 percent and 32 percent of women 40-44 years old and 45-49 years old, respectively, whose breast cancer was found through a screening mammogram, have a first-degree relative with breast cancer or the BRCA gene, according to the ACS and USPSTF research. According to this article: “The role BRCA mutations play, especially in younger women, is important to note,” Dr. Mautner said. “Women who are genetic mutation carriers or who have first degree relatives diagnosed with premenopausal breast cancer are recommended to start screening mammograms before the age of 40.”

If you are between the ages of 40-49 then make sure to schedule your annual screening ASAP. In conjunction with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Baptist Health is offering special mammogram pricing in October to patients without insurance. Through October 31, 2017, a screening mammogram is $50, and a diagnostic mammogram is $100. The radiologist’s fee for 3D mammogram is included in the special prices. To schedule an appointment, call 786-573-6000 in Miami-Dade or Broward, 305-434-1588 in Monroe, or visit BaptistHealth.net/BreastHealth.

*** This has been a sponsored conversation brought to you by Baptist Health South Florida.

10 Tips for Portion Control and Your Favorite Foods

10 Tips on Portion Control

Portion control is something that every American most likely struggles with. Why? Because every restaurant you have ever walked into since you were a kid has probably served you extremely oversized portions. Overeating has become a normal part of the S.A.D. or Standard American Diet; however, even  the healthiest people run the risk of over eating. Maybe not on kale and spinach, buton healthy foods like nuts, nut butter, avocado and protein.

A couple of months ago Cory and I were in L.A. and we wandered down to a very un-chic yet deliciously indulgent establishment. This restaurant had a bull you could ride for fun and live music so we took a seat outside and let the good times roll. I ordered a summer chopped kale salad with grilled chicken and a side of truffle mac and cheese; obviously the angel/devil debate was a total wash! Cory ordered pasta for his main course and when it arrived I literally almost fell off my chair. A normal size portion is 1/2 of a cup of pasta. Which is the size of your fist and almost always a european portion, and enough to fit a small bowl. Cory literally had a PLATTER of ziti the size of 2 1/2 dinner plates with sausage and cheese sauce in front of him. I could not believe my eyes! It was literally enough pasta to feed a small army, and NO, he was not running a marathon the next day.

 I wanted to share a few measurements today to help you on your portion control journey and offer a few tips from my friends over at Baptist Health South Florida.

 Natalie Castro, R.D., (pictured), chief Wellness dietitian for corporate wellness at Baptist Health South Florida offers her tips for portion control:

1. Use small plates: When serving yourself a meal or a snack, try using smaller plates.
2. Pick veggies: Load up on vegetables first. Reach for 1 cup or a large handful.
3. Measure protein: After the veggies, put protein on your plate. The amount of protein on your plate should equal the size of a deck of cards.

For more from Natalie, check out THIS POST !

Lucette Talamas, a registered dietitian, (pictured) with Community Heath at Baptist Health South Florida:

1. Downsize creamy dishes: Reduce your portions of high-calorie foods like creamy dishes, pastas, thick salad dressings, pizza, cheesy items, fried foods and desserts. Research shows that consumers eat less high-calorie foods when served a smaller portion.
2. Ask for to-go boxes: If eating out, share a meal or ask for a to-go box at the time you get your entrée. Before eating, pack your to-go box. Remember:  Even half a restaurant entrée can still be too much for one meal.
3. Use kiddie plates: If eating at home, stock your cabinets with smaller dishware to encourage smaller portions.  When serving food, consider using children’s tableware or a salad plate instead of the entrée plate.

For more from Lucette, check out THIS POST !

Tips for Portion Control

Over the next couple of weeks I challenge you to focus on your portions and measure them at every meal. You will most likely be surprised at what an actual portion of your favorite foods look like.

Lean Protein: 4-6 Ounces for a meal. 2-3 For a snack.

Oatmeal: 1/2 Cup

Starchy Vegetables (Squash): 1/2 Cup

Grains: 1/2 Cup

Popcorn: 3 Cups

Bream: 1 Slice

Hummus: 2 Tbsp

Beans: 1/2 Cup

Non-Dairy Milk: 1 Cup

Dairy Milk: 3/4 Cup

Cottage Cheese: 1/2 Cup

Yogurt: 3/4 Cup

Whole Eggs: 2

Egg Whites: 4

Berries 1 C

Banana 1 Small

Cheese 1 ounce

Oil and Dressing 2 tsp

Avocado 1/4

For more tips on portion control make sure to head on over to Baptist Health South Florida.


***This has been a sponsored conversation brought to you by Baptist Health South Florida.

 

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet


I have a love/hate relationship with food and protein bars.  On the upside, protein bars are a convenient way to have an on-the-go snack that is packed with a satisfying amount of protein and fiber to keep your blood sugar stable and keep you full between meals. You can even find certain food protein bars that act as meal replacements; however, you need to be careful as many food bars moonlight as nutritious when in actuality the amount of added sugar and preservatives is comparable to a candy bar.

The ingredient list on any packaged food is actually more important than the actual nutrition label itself. You see, when consuming packaged items the ingredients are listed from highest quantities to lowest. For example, most granola bars that we find in the grocery store like: Nature’s Valley, Power Bars and even the beloved Quest Bars all have high amounts of sugar and preservatives. For example, a typical granola bar should have granola or oats listed first. If you are buying granola bars with high-fructose corn syrup in the first, second or third spot or there are tons of ingredients you cannot even pronounce JUST WALK AWAY. I repeat JUST WALK AWAY. There are tons of health bar options that I love and I am here to share my favorites. Most of these bars cost more than your average bar, but the quality ingredients are well worth it!

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet Primal Kitchen

Primal PRIMAL KITCHEN™ Chocolate Almond

Like all PRIMAL KITCHEN™ products, there are no artificial ingredients in these Dark Chocolate Almond Bars. Just: Almonds, Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Grass-Fed Collagen, Isomalto-Oligosaccharides (Cassava Root), Water, Coconut Flakes, Honey, Natural Flavors, Coconut Oil, Bitter Chocolate, Cocoa Powder, Himalayan Pink Salt, Monk Fruit Extract, Tocopherols (Vitamin E).

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet Strong and Kind

STRONG & KIND

Sweet KIND bars are yummy, but can be high in added sugar and preservatives. The newish Strong & Kind line pack a whopping 10g of protein and only 5g of sugar. These bars are chock full of healthy spices and are a yummy alternative to their sweeter counterparts. They get their protein from nuts and pea protein and are a good pre or post workout snack.

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet SHANTI Bar

SHANTI BAR

Organic Energy Bars are 100% USDA Organic Certified, Non-GMO Project Verified, Paleo Certified, Paleo Vegan Certified, Kosher Certified, Gluten Free, RAW, Vegan and are made with only real ingredients like celtic sea salt, coconut, maca, goji berries, hemp, spirulina and more! Each bar houses at least 7g of plant-based protein and what you see is what you get.

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet RX Bar

RxBar

The “Real Food Protein Bar”. RxBar is list the ingredients on the front of every bar. The last ingredients being: No B.S. Just the way I like it! These bars are quit chewy, but are great for a pre-workout and come in a variety of flavors! The blueberry is my fav!

Health Warrior Pumpkin Seed Bars

I love all of the Health Warrior Bars, but the ingredient list in the Health Warrior Pumpkin Seed Bars are short, sweet and to the point!

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet GO MACRO

GOMacro Bars

Are certified organic, NON GMO, Certified RAW, Vegan and gluten free. I believe GoMacro bars are great for pre-workout purposes because they do use brown rice syrup which is sugar substitute derived from brown rice. It will elevate blood sugar levels so eating one about 45 minute to one hour before your workout will give you the resources needed to fuel your next workout.

 

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet LARA BARS

LÄRABar

LÄRABar is known as the the original fruit and nut bar. I absolutely love the apple and cherry pie flavors. They are great for curbing a sweet tooth and are made simply of dates, fruit and nuts.

 

 

8 Healthy Protein Bars for Every Diet Perfect Bars

Perfect Bar

Perfect Bar is has the best name because in my opinion this bar is literally PERFECT! I am addicted to the Peanut Butter and limited release Pumpkin Pie bars. They have a blend of 20 expertly hidden superfoods and complex carbohydrates that will fuel even the most intense workouts. Peanut Butter Perfect Bars pack a whopping 17g of protein are are a great way to recover and restore glycogen burned during a grueling workout. You can find a variety pack of 12 bars at Costco for $19.99.

If there is a bar you love, but is not listed here send me note in the comments below!

 

Increase Your Flexibility and Improve Your Quality of Life

“Flexibility makes buildings to be stronger. Imagine what it can do to your soul.” -Carlos Barrios

Flexibility is a muscle or joints ability to move through full range of motion. Flexibility is also one of the most important components of physical fitness, but unfortunately it is often overlooked. Take a second. Think about the last time you worked up a sweat. Did you spend enough time warming up your body or cooling it down? If you a group fitness guy or gal you may notice that a few people slip out the door without adeqautely re-aligning their bodies. Stretching and cooling down may seem obsolete; however, that could not be further from the truth. Flexibility training should be a constant in your life and does not always come in the form of touching your toes.

Flexibility Training by Taylor Walker Fit

Working on flexibility can Help to:

  • Decrease Muscle Imbalances
  • Decrease Your Chance of Injury
  • Help Clear Your Mind
  • Enable your muscles or joints work to full range of motion making daily life activity easier.

You can Improve Your Flexibility by:

Working through full range of motion while weight training

Getting a Massage: Getting a massage often seems like a luxury when it is actually a necessity. You do not have to go to a fancy spa to release your knots and tight muscles, you can use a foam roller or tiger tail to help. The most important thing is that you roll for recovery or find someone who can help. There are tons of affordable massage options out there like Massage Envy and Hand and Stone. Kick a couple of those pricey lattes to the curb and you can easily get a massage once a month.

Taking Time to Stretch: This sounds simple, but stretching is often overlooked. As a former dancer stretching was always a part of my regimen. Unfortunately, I have not done it often enough lately and am starting to make it a part of my morning ritual again. I created a light stretching routine that would be perfect for you to start or end your day.

Incorporating Yoga Into Your fitness regimen: Yoga is not all about chanting and “OM’ing”. Yoga works on strength, improving full range of motion and helps provide space in the body. Find an instructor that you like and hit your Downward Dog.

Learning to Breathe: Learning to connect your breathe to movement is one of the most powerful things you can do. Not only will learning to breathe make your flexibility training more effective, but it will help you harness the power to control your mind. I always tell my clients to “breathe out on the work”. So the next time you perform a set up crunches, push-up’s or a stretch breathe out on the work or the hardest part.

Drinking More Water: Muscles are made of up 75% water. Many people are walking around parched and dehydrated. So guess what? Your muscles are essentially stuck and will not work adequately without H20. Focus on drinking at least half of your bodyweight in ounces as a marker for hydration. Be mindful of how you feel and track the color of your urine. If it is pale you are hydrated. If it is closer to amber it means you are dehydrated and need to drink up buttercup!

Give this flexibility routine a try today! You can do it on flat ground or find a step, a chair or a rock for elevation.

Video by Catarcione Productions