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What's Your Favorite Healthy Meal?

What’s Your Favorite Healthy Meal?

I’m hoping to get some input from all of you. I’d love it if you’d share your favorite healthy meal. Not everyone has the same taste, so even if I share my favorite meals, you might not like the taste. I have a client that will only eat avocado if it’s in guacamole. Her spouse, on the other hand, loves avocado and eats a half of one every morning with hot sauce. Avocados are extremely healthy, but if you don’t like them, you simply don’t like them. I’m going to share a few elements of what a healthy meal should include and some recipes. Please share some of yours in the comment section.

Nutritious vegetables of all colors are important.

At an early age, I heard that to eat healthy, you had to have a rainbow of colors on your plate. Of course, when I was young, the first thing that popped into my mind was a bag of Skittles. That’s not what it means. Choosing from a platter of vegetables of different colors provides a wider range of vitamins and phytonutrients, such as flavonoids. At one time, the importance of flavonoids were unknown, but now, they’re found to provide healthy benefits for the body. There are studies on anthocyanins and their role in curing colon cancer. Anthocyanins make plants red to purple. Anthoxanthins make plants white to yellow and do many things, including reducing the potential for stroke. I can even make this simple recipe called Rainbow pizza using pita bread, pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese an topped with a rainbow of color; cherry tomatoes, sweetcorn or yellow peppers, orange peppers, broccoli, red onion and beet root. You can vary the type of flatbread and veggies to to your taste.

You need healthy protein in your diet.

Getting all the protein you need is important. The body uses it to build and repair tissues, make hormones and enzymes, skin, cartilage, bones and blood. It also burns extra calories in digestion, so it’s good for weight loss. Proteins contain amino acids. There are eight essential ones the body can’t create on its own. methionine, isoleucine, leucine, threonine, lysine, phenylalanine, tryptophan and valine. Lean meat, chia seeds, Ezekial bread, soy products and eggs are a few good sources. My favorite is a portion size of grilled chicken breast.

Go for some healthy fat, too.

Fats are important in any diet, whether you’re trying to lose weight or not. It helps fuel the body and gives you a full feeling, absorb nutrients–think fat soluble vitamins, build cells and aid in brain, heart and nerve function. The key is getting healthy fat and having a good balance of omega3 fatty acid to omega6. You’re supposed to have twice as much omega6 daily as you do Omega3, but unfortunately, today’s average American diet contains over 15 times as much. Instead of being healthy, it becomes a health risk. Some fats, such as transfats are completely unhealthy. Homemade guacamole, either chunky or mashed, is one of my favorites. It’s great as a celery and veggie dip.

– Make sure you have a daily supply of fiber in your diet. A bowl of oatmeal with blueberries or other fruit and some nuts is my favorite way to get it.

– Don’t forget the water. It doesn’t look flashy, but can curb your appetite and help your body. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Try to get eight 8-oz glasses.

– Get some veggies at breakfast with an omelet or cook an egg in a pepper ring. YUM!

– Nuts, berries and melon cubes can be yummy snacks that will fill you up not out. I cube melons and have them ready when I want a snack. Pistachios and almonds, not peanuts,

are the way to go.


Does Workout Gear Need To Be Expensive

Does Workout Gear Need To Be Expensive

If you’re considering buying workout gear, you’ve probably noticed it came with a high price tag. Is it necessary to pay that high price or could you use a less expensive

alternative. A good bra, for example, is super important for women, but does it have to be specifically a sports bra? This is a personal issue and definitely one I let women decide for themselves. There are two ways a sports bra is superior to a regular bra. First, it should be made from sweat wicking material like Coolmax. That will keep you drier. Secondly, a good sports bra is washable and will endure more washes than a regular bra, according to what I’m told. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune. It just needs to fit, wick sweat and be durable.

Check for fabric that keeps you cooler and dryer.

You’ll work up a sweat in the gym, so you want materials created to soak up that sweat and keep it away from the skin. Just like a sports bra, you want your workout clothes to be made of wicking material. Spend more money on the clothing that gets the toughest workout while you workout, like leggins or stretchy shorts, shoes…and the sports bra.

Use almost any kind of T-shirt or tank top if you workout in a gym.

While it would be nice to have the latest in fashion and technology, if your budget doesn’t warrant it, don’t dismay. A cotton Tee or one made of other breathable fabric will do nicely. In fact, many people use T-shirts and tanktops they already have in their closet. If you’re exercising outdoors and want fabric that’s waterproof and wind resistance, expect to pay more.

Shoes are ultimately important.

Good fitting, comfortable shoes are important even if you’re not working out, so imagine how important they are when you’re increasing the beating your feet take. You don’t have to pay a fortune or go with the latest fad in footwear, but should have a good pair of shoes for the gym. Training footwear with a good fit will keep your feet happier.

– If you’re kickboxing, you’ll want clothing that leaves you feeling covered and comfortable no matter what your moves.

– You don’t have to have the latest in fashion, particularly if you’re here to lose weight, making them ill fitting. Get comfortable clothing for now and save making the expensive purchase as a reward for losing pounds and inches.

– Don’t forget your headband. Keeping hair off your face during a workout is easy with an inexpensive headband. They’re good to mop the sweat off your brow too.

– Never let clothing costs stop you from working out. Whatever you wear, as long as you’re comfortable, is fine….Just workout. We’re here to get you fit and nobody should let fashion dictate that.


Document Your Success

Document Your Success

Even though you’ll notice changes quickly when you follow my program, that doesn’t mean you’ll get the whole breadth of the changes. While you may feel excited at each major accomplishment, such as losing a clothing size or shedding extra pounds, unless you document your success, you won’t get the full impact of just how far you’ve traveled and how much

you’ve achieved. Keeping a documented account of the accomplishment can also show you how hard you’ve worked and how difficult it could be to start all over again if you get of the path of a healthy lifestyle.

Take before pictures and pictures along the way.

Some people, particularly those with a big weight problem, have spent the last few years, or whenever their weight problem started, dodging the camera. It’s a constant reminder and they don’t want any permanent evidence. However, taking a picture or pictures is precisely what should be done. In fact, plan to take a picture in a revealing outfit, such as tights or swimwear at least once every two months. Use the same pose each time and keep the camera at the same distance. It’s a good idea to have a object like a dresser close by to show perspective.

Track your weight and food intake.

One method of keeping score is to keep a log of your weight. Don’t weigh yourself every day. Once a week or once every two weeks is enough. Weigh yourself the same time of day and space the weigh ins equal days apart. If you want to weigh in every two weeks, use a specific day and time, such as every other Monday at 8 am. Tracking what you eat will also help. Not only does it prevent you from fooling yourself into believing you hardly ate anything and didn’t lose a pound, it also gives you a good idea where you can make substitutions to lower caloric intake.

Track your measurements.

Rather than tracking weight, which can fool you, tracking your measurements is better. Do it at the same time you weigh yourself. As you build more muscle mass, you’ll look even thinner, even if you never shed a pound. That’s because one cubic inch of muscle mass weighs more than one cubic inch of fat, so the container to hold a pound of muscle mass would be smaller than one containing a pound of fat. You’re the container, so you’ll be narrower when you have more muscle tissue even if you never lost a pound.

– Record your progress when you exercise. Keep a journal and add a commentary, which might say, “OMG, I did 20 jumping jacks and was pooped. Barely made it through the last one.” When you can see your progress it can keep you coming back for more.

– Use your clothing to help track your progress. Buy a piece of clothing that fits you tight or one you can’t zip. When you present clothes become baggy and this item fits, you’ve made progress.

– Track your feelings. At first, you’ll miss some of your favorite foods, but as your journey to good health continues, you’ll notice a change in the entries. In fact, if you eat a favorite food on a cheat day, you might not even like it anymore.

– Enjoy your success. Don’t be shy about sharing before and after pictures. It can be inspirational to others. If you get discouraged, go back through your journals, pictures or even try on old clothing, to keep you motivated.


Why Cheat Days Are Important

Why Cheat Days Are Important

There are reasons cheat days are important, but also reasons that cheating puts you on a slippery slope back into poor eating habits. Some unhealthy high calorie food is addictive. Just like the cigarette smoker who has just one cigarette after months of abstinence, it can put you right back into old eating habits if you allow that to happen. However, planned cheat days or a cheat meal you can’t resist, but still use portion control, has some benefits that even help you lose weight.

Use common sense when you cheat.

While cheating can provide a boost of resolve to continue on a healthy way of eating, using common sense is also important. If you clear out the mashed potatoes and gravy or dessert station at a buffet, you’re setting yourself back days or weeks of diligent healthy eating. Instead of declaring a spontaneous cheat day when you’re starving, plan a day to cheat and cheat in moderation, eating only portion sized servings of your favorite foods.

Planned cheat days can help you lose weight by tricking your body.

When you plan ahead, you can throw a calorie-rich meal into the mix and trick your body into thinking food is plentiful, helping it burn more calories. The body sends a message to the brain to increase leptin levels, which is the anti-starvation hormone that boosts the metabolism. That hormone tells the body that burning fat is okay. As long as you only cheat a little, one moderate meal a week, the extra calories won’t affect your progress and cheating becomes beneficial.

Adjust your meal times the day you cheat.

You don’t want to skip the meal right before your cheat meal. For instance, if you’re eating a cheat meal for dinner, don’t skip lunch, but do move the other meals a little later in the day. Grab a small snack for breakfast. Eat your mid morning snack for lunch and have your lunch a high-protein lunch, such as a small salad with boiled eggs or grilled chicken and a light vinaigrette or lemon juice dressing later in the day when you’d normally eat your mid afternoon snack. You won’t be starved at supper when you eat your cheat meal.

– Workout vigorously before your cheat meal. The extra calories won’t go to fat, but to replace the glycogen stores.

– If the cheating is at a restaurant, check the menu online ahead of time so you know what you want to order. It will help you get precisely what you crave without taking

forever to choose when you’re in the restaurant.

– Eat healthy, not junk at your cheat meal and drink plenty of water before you eat to help. In fact, drinking water before you order can help fill you up and you’ll be more likely to order less. Ice tea with a bit of lemon is also a filling drink.

– Eat slowly and savor every bite. Indulge in your cheat meal with friends and enjoy the conversation.


Change The Way You Think About Exercising

Change The Way You Think About Exercising

You shouldn’t hate working out. In fact, you should look forward to it. If you dread going to workout sessions, it’s time you change the way you think about exercising. One of the easiest ways is simply to change your mind. Rather than think of it as something you have to do, turn it into a game. Chart your progress and look for ways to challenge yourself.

Instead of making it a game, get exercise from a sport.

YES! I do mean kickboxing, but there are a lot of others from which to choose. Surfing, rowing, swimming and even dancing (okay, make that competitive dancing to give it sport status) give your body a complete workout, especially ballet. When you’re thinking more about the next movement or trying to break your own personal best record, you actually enjoy working out rather than dread it. With competitive workouts, like kickboxing, winning a match can be a real rush that will change your attitude forever.

Try new things.

If you’ve done the same routine for years, it’s no wonder it’s a snooze. Varying your exercise routine with new things is not just important to your attitude, it makes a difference in the effectiveness of the workout in a number of ways. First, you’re using different muscle groups and varying the way you’re using them when you try new things. Secondly, if you don’t change your workout your body becomes too efficient at the movement and burns fewer calories. That can cause plateauing.

Workout with others, rather than alone.

Working out alone can be the ultimate bore. It leaves you time to think about just how long it takes and sometimes how tedious or difficult the workout is. When you workout with others, while you’ll still focus on the movements, the comradery can make it far more enjoyable. The group energy and enthusiasm is contagious.

– Kickboxing, like other types of sports keeps you focused on the next movement. Kickboxing in particular, doesn’t let your mind take a break to wander, while your body goes through the movements. You have to keep focused.

– Reward yourself for accomplishment. Whether it’s reaching a specific goal for lifting weights, running faster or further, it doesn’t matter. Find a non-food way to reward yourself when you reach a preset benchmark.

– Make exercising a habit that you do automatically. Exercise at the same time every day. The longer you do it, the more of a habit it will become.

– Smile while you workout. Not only does smiling add more years to your life, it also can help make the difference to change your mind. It’s a “fake it until you make it” move.


Keep Your Curves In Check

Keep Your Curves In Check

keep curves in checkGet an exercise program that’s challenging.

If you’ve worked out at DNJ Fitness, you know the programs we develop are challenging. That’s important. You want to work toward your maximum potential to get the most out of an exercise session. I vary the workout frequently so the client’s body doesn’t become too efficient. That means it burns fewer calories, which contributes to plateauing. Plateauing is one reason I recommend kickboxing. You’re constantly changing movements and no two days are alike.

Reveal those curves by burning calories and building muscle tissue.

Not only does exercise burn calories, it also builds muscle tissue. Both help to reveal the curves you want. More muscle tissue also has other benefits. It uses more calories than fat tissue does, so effectively, you’ll be boosting your metabolism in the process. As you start to see change, you’ll be even more driven to continue. That’s good because the more fit you become, the more challenging the workout should become.

There are more benefits than just a fabulous body.

As you shed pounds and reveal your new beautiful body, you’ll get many other benefits, too. These are life changing. Your health will improve. One study shows that for every minute you exercise you have seven minutes longer of a healthier life. You’ll run less risk of serious diseases, such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure and diabetes. In fact, it even boosts your immune system so you’ll fight off common colds and the flu better.

You’ll have a huge boost in your energy level. That gives you more time and energy to have fun with your family and friends. You may even tackle some other goals and activities you’ve always wanted to do.

You’ll walk taller and with more confidence. It comes from the improved self-image and posture that you get from working out regularly.

If you use kickboxing as part of your program, expect to have fun while you’re doing it. Most of my clients love the action packed experience and often want to workout even longer. It’s a great way to relieve stress.

Not only will your body look better, you’ll notice a huge improvement in your complexion. The improved circulation sends oxygen and nutrient rich blood to all parts of the body. It also makes you sweat, which can clear up blemishes.


Lose Weight With Kickboxing

Lose Weight With Kickboxing

lose weight kickboxingIt’s easy to lose weight with kickboxing and a lot of fun. The intensity of kickboxing and specialized techniques combine to make your body an inferno that burns between 800 to 1200 calories per hour. That’s huge and far more than most other aerobic exercises. Don’t worry, you won’t bulk up while you do it either. Instead, it builds lean muscle mass to give the body a sinewy lean appearance. That muscle tone comes from the resistance aspect of the training.

Kickboxing is a form of interval training, but far more fun.

Interval training is high intensity training that alternates quickly between stations where you change the exercise. You’re constantly changing your movements in kickboxing and working out your brain at the same time. HIIT—high intensity interval training is one of the most effective ways to burn fat. You can see why kickboxing fits that description and does it so well. You make a high-intensity move and then go to a low-intensity one, always keeping your body ready for the next move. It shreds fat fast.

You build core muscles.

Core muscles are stabilizer muscles that help keep you balanced and upright. They include the abdomen, so you’ll get a flat tummy in the process. These larger muscles burn loads of calories and the more you tone them, the more they’ll burn. You see muscle tissue requires more calories than fat tissue does, so effectively, you’ll burn more calories 24/7 and be raising your metabolism. That makes weight loss even easier.

When combined with a healthy diet, kickboxing can shed pounds even faster.

A healthy diet isn’t dieting. Dieting makes you feel deprived and has you eating special foods. A healthy diet gives you a wide selection of food choices. I’ll help you learn how to eat healthier and even show you how to make substitutions, such as brown rice for white rice, which saves few calories, but provides more nutrition. These small changes all add up to huge calorie savings. You’ll never feel hungry. In fact, most people find they eat more than they did before they started.

You get other benefits from kickboxing. It’s a good form of self defense that could come in handy and changes your stance. You’ll never look like a victim again.

You’ll improve your balance when you kickbox. It works out the coordination receptors in the brain to make them work more efficiently. That adds to your coordination and grace.

You’ll build confidence with kickboxing. You’ll walk taller and have more presence. The improved posture helps you look thinner too.

You’ll improve both your endurance and your reaction time when you learn kickboxing. After just a short time you’ll have more energy than you ever thought possible.


Summer Goals

Summer Goals

summer goalsThe right type of exercising burns fat fast.

Kickboxing is a HIIT—high intensity interval training—type of workout. You hit it a top speed and intensity for a while and then drop to low-intensity, going back and forth throughout the workout. This type of workout is a sure fat burner that turns your body into an furnace burning more calories than most aerobic exercises. That’s part of the program and one reason I can make such a confident guarantee.

You’ll build lean muscle tissue.

Most women worry that they’ll bulk up and look like the Terminator after sticking to the program. Nothing is further from the truth. First, women don’t bulk up as easily as men do because of differences in hormone levels. Secondly, the type of workout we do doesn’t build bulk, but instead builds lean toned muscle tissue. The important part is that the more muscle tissue you have, the easier it is to lose weight. That’s because muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue does, so you’ll be boosting your metabolism.

Have the energy to do everything you planned this summer.

Even if weight loss isn’t a goal, you’ll get a lot out of toning up and getting fit. You’ll build your energy level and have far more endurance to get things done faster with time and energy to spare for the fun things in life. Think of the adventures you’ll have this summer, hiking, biking and enjoying family and friends in activities. Keeping fit means more than just looking good. It means feeling good and enjoying every minute of life.

You’ll feel stronger and more confident when you get into shape. That lets you tackle the toughest challenges and know you’ll conquer them.

An exercise program also helps you burn off the hormones of stress that leave you fuzzy brained and uncomfortable. Imagine how good it will feel to punch and kick away the stresses of the day.

You’ll improve your health. Don’t wait until you have to take medication to get on the right track. Exercise can lower blood pressure, help prevent diabetes and improve cholesterol levels.

This could be the best summer of your life where you have the energy and confidence to follow your dreams and enjoy everything life has to offer.


Surround Yourself With Encouragement

Surround Yourself With Encouragement

When you start any new endeavor, having encouragement and a supportive environment is a huge help. It’s very true when you want to lose weight or get back into shape. Having emotional support is extremely important. In fact, next to having the proper guidance and training, it’s a factor that can make a difference between success and failure. Doing it on your own doesn’t supply that, which is why many people workout at a gym. Most gyms, however, don’t offer that type of encouragement and you’re lost in a sea of machines and strangers.

You don’t always get the support at home.

Friends and family aren’t always the people you want to share your goals with when you’re starting a program of fitness. Some times they throw up past failures in your face or worse yet, become dictators watching your every move in an “effort to help.” Some even sabotage you by finding ways to prevent you from working out or trying to lure you with junk foods. Those people are threatened by your success and fear your relationship will change in the process.

DNJ Fitness is a supportive facility.

When you workout here, you’ll have more than just support from the staff, you’ll have the support of the entire DNJ Fitness community. Everyone here has similar goals and have gone through many of the same experiences. They know how hard it is to lose weight and will boost you up with positive thoughts and words. It can make the difference between success and failure.

Once you see the results, you’ll still need support because there are more challenging goals ahead.

Fitness goals are always changing. They become more challenging the fitter you become. While some of the motivation comes from the results you see, having the encouragement of others can drive you to even higher challenges and success. You’ll find that you want to help others, too. People often take others under their wing because of all the positive support they received in the past. That’s one of the reasons so many of our clients love coming here.

Even though kickboxing seems like a combative sport, everyone helps each other. It’s a great way to shed pounds and gain the confidence knowing self-defense can provide.

Many people look forward to coming to DNJ Fitness, not just for the support, but also because of the fun they have working out here.

Clients often don’t tell family and friends about their goals to save themselves the pressure of worrying about failure. You need to share with someone, so you can celebrate when things go right and get encouragement when they don’t.

Getting started is half the battle. We have an amazing offer for kickboxing classes that also provides free gloves. Try a special to get started and to help give you the motivation to continue.