You are what you eat!

Food has so much effect on your feelings, attitudes and your appearance! Here are few foods that are good for skin!

  • Tomatoes
    Why: They’re full of lycopene, a phytochemical that provides red pigment and health benefits. Lycopene helps eliminate skin-aging free radicals caused by ultraviolet rays – in other words, it protects against sun damage. To reap the most benefits, heat them up: A half-cup of cooked tomatoes, for example, packs 16 milligrams of lycopene. A daily dose coupled with sunscreen will help block the burn.
  •  Mangoes, Papaya and Apricots
    Why: Got that washed-out look? Load up on some fruit. Mangoes, papaya and apricots are full of pigments called carotenoids, which are stored in the layer of fat directly beneath the skin and can improve color. “They peek through, giving you a rosy glow,” says registered dietitian Karen Ansel, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and co-author of “The Calendar Diet: A Month by Month Guide to Losing Weight While Living Your Life.”
  • Cocoa Powder
    Why: Flavonals, the antioxidants in dark chocolate, reduce roughness in the skin and protect against sun damage. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that women who drank cocoa fortified with 326 milligrams of flavonals a day had better skin texture and stronger resistance to UV rays than those who didn’t get as much of the antioxidants. Just a few ounces a day – or a standard Hershey’s Dark Chocolate bar – is sufficient. Another tasty way to get enough? Spoon some cocoa powder into your morning coffee, Ansel suggests.
  • Flaxseed
    Why: Think of these as tiny wrinkle fighters. They’re packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which erase spots and smooth fine lines. In one study, participants who had about half a teaspoon of omega-3s daily for six weeks had less skin irritation and redness, as well as better-hydrated skin, according to findings published in the British Journal of Nutrition. That’s likely because fatty acids attract water to skin cells, plumping the skin and reducing wrinkling.
  • Sweet Potatoes:
    Why: They’re full of vitamin C, which smooths wrinkles by stimulating the production of collagen. One study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found people who consumed 4 milligrams of vitamin C – about half a small sweet potato – daily for three years reduced the appearance of wrinkles by 11 percent.
  • Spinach:
    Why: Want to protect yourself against skin cancer? Take a page out of Popeye’s book. A study published in the International Journal of Cancer found that folks who ate the most leafy greens (more than four times a day) developed half as many skin tumors over 11 years as those who ate the smallest amount (once a day or never). That’s likely because the folate in spinach helps maintain and repair DNA, reducing the likelihood of cancer-cell growth
  • Canned Tuna:
    Why: It’s packed with selenium – a nutrient that preserves elastin, which keeps skin smooth and tight. Selenium also prevents free radicals that are produced by UV rays from damaging skin cells, protecting against sun damage.
  • Safflower Oil
    Why: If you have dry, flaky or itchy skin, take note: This common cooking oil doubles as a moisturizer. It contains omega-6 fatty acids, which keep cell walls supple, allowing water to reach the skin. Some research suggests consuming safflower oil can help ease skin problems such as dermatitis, inflammation, acne and dry skin.
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What’s for Dinner? Spaghetti Squash & Shrimp!

I love love love spaghetti squash! It is so versatile and very easy to make – best part guilt free! You can replace pasta with it and reap many benefits from the swap.

“One cup of cooked spaghetti squash only has 42 calories, compared to a cup of cooked pasta with over 200 calories. It only has 10 grams of total carbohydrates, which is one-fourth the amount you’ll get from the pasta. You’ll also get 9 percent of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber.” Plus it has Vitamins A, C, potassium and calcium.

An easy way to serve spaghetti squash is with some shrimp and tomato sauce.

Cook the spaghetti squash. Here’s how
Devein shrimp and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side in your  choice of oil (coconut, olive, or regular)
Add garlic to shrimp once you flip the shrimp
Sautee together
Tomato Sauce ( make your own or I’ll get a lower sugar or Simple Truth brand).
Plate shrimp and tomato sauce on top of spaghetti squash and you are good to go!

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August Abs MTFF plank challenge

Hey hey – are you up for a challenge?
Each day in August I’ll post a plank variation with directions on what to do. Get your summer abs and tighten up your core with me!  #MTFFplank so I can follow along with you!

Welllll since today is August 1, let’s get started!

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DAY 1 #MTFFplank is the high plank.

Form is key to make planks effective. Shoulders over wrists, hips square and in a straight line with your spine. SQUEEZE your belly button to the spine and spread weight evenly through hands and feet. Keep a neutral neck don’t look down or up.

Now how long can you hold it?
× Beginner – If you are new to planks start off with 10 seconds on and off for a minute repeat 3x

× Intermediate try holding 30-45 seconds rest 30-15 secs and repeat 3x

× Advanced try holding for 60 seconds, rest 10 seconds and increase 70 seconds on, 20 seconds rest and 80 seconds on, 30 seconds off and 90 seconds on, yes 4x – you’re advanced right?

× Pro do a max hold – hold til you can’t hold any more!

We are just getting started – challenge a friend and get your #augustabs with me! Be sure to #MTFFplank so I can follow you!

Start today! Email maketimforfit@gmail.com for your personalized workout program!

Eating at Work!

When I first moved to Texas my job was during the evening so I was forced to eat dinner at work. Making a lunch is one thing but dinner – I know I had to be smart about what I bring because I’m at work making money not trying to spend it! Plus whatever restaurant I could run to during a break from work would not be healthy!

I try to get a protein, a carb (forget that carbs are bad! Not all are bad!) and a vegetable when I pack my dinners.  I usually stick with fish and chicken for proteins. Throw in some brown rice, quinoa, or whole wheat pasta for my starchy carb. My veggie of choice lately has been Kale. It’s very easy to make and I really like the crunch and flavor of baking it.  Otherwise I go with frozen broccoli, spinach or sweet potatoes.

Eating well is just a matter of planning. It’s hard to throw things together quickly if you don’t have things in the house or you are tight on time.

There are countless ways to prepare chicken, tilapia, and catfish. Find some recipes that you like and make them ahead of time, portion it out in tupperware containers and you’ll learn what works for you!

Good luck prepping!

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Pumping Iron?

Did you know?

Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States, and women are among those at greatest risk. Iron is critical for producing hemoglobin, a protein that helps red blood cells deliver oxygen throughout your body. So without it, everything suffers

Here are few symptoms that may be related to an iron deficiency.

  1.  Exhaustion
    This is tough to tell since many women are busy and just dismiss the tired feeling as normal when in fact it’s the most common symptom of iron deficiency
  2. Quick to lose breath
    Normal activities like walking up the stairs or you typical exercise routine causes you to lose your breath easily, easier than usual, chances are your iron is to blame.
  3. Headaches
    Iron helps produce oxygen so when you are low in iron your body will portions out your iron supply and prioritize getting oxygen to your brain although you will likely experience headaches because it still isn’t enough
  4. Increased anxiety
    Can’t relax? It may be in part to low iron since the lack of oxygen revving up your body’s sympathetic nervous system.
  5. Crave ice chips
    Ever have the urge to chew on ice chips? Those who are iron deficient! If you notice yourself going to the freezer, that’s red flag for lacking iron!

I struggled myself with iron deficiency. My doctor prescribed iron supplements for me when I was in high school and I learned to eat more dark leafy green vegetables and red meat (loaded with iron).

Before you give blood they do a finger prick to test your hemoglobin levels which is produced by the iron in blood. Any time I tired to give blood I would try to increase my iron-enriched foods but didn’t work. I’d have enough iron (hemoglobin) but not enough to give. This was a little battle within myself over the next 10 years.

I pride myself on being healthy, why couldn’t I get my iron up?

I started ID Nutrition four months ago and I’ve noticed a few things improve but little did I know biggest changes are happening on the inside.

About a month after starting ID Nutrition, which based on my personalized assessment included an iron supplement, there was blood drive at my work. I signed up just hoping I’d been eating well enough. Not even thinking of my ID Nutrition supplements.

Sure enough, I was able to give at blood drive at work. My iron (hemoglobin) was just over what it needed to be to donate! WOOOO!

Now, about 3 months later and four months since I started ID Nutrition, another blood drive popped up near my house.

I went in to donate, all the while hoping in the back of my mind that my iron (hemoglobin) was high enough.  The technician told me that hemoglobin levels needs to be 12.5 in order to give blood, mine was  was 13.7.  The technician with the Red Cross was even impressed! I knew this had to be a direct correlation of my use of ID Nutrition and my iron supplements. My hemoglobin level has never been higher and I’m so happy that I can give blood without worry of getting there just to be turned away.

It’s sometimes hard to track positive results form vitamins but this is something tangible and something that I’m so proud of! Not only is ID Life helping me fill in my nutritional gaps but in turn I can help save someone’s life.

Go take your free assessment today and see how quickly you reap the benefits of these pharmaceutical grade vitamins!

Visit jarmstrong427.idlife.com for your free ID Nutrition assessment.

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Reference here

Fun Fitness Friday – Pyramid Run

I was very active in high school and college playing sports so running has been apart of my life for basically. I actually love love love running, but let’s be honest running on a treadmill can get kinda boring!

So I came up with this pyramid run to change it up a little bit. With this run you are constantly changing paces and the longest period of running at the same pace is 5 minutes! 5 minutes anyone can do 5 minutes! These little time goals during my run help me to keep me going!

The pyramid run alternates between running at a “race pace” (RP) and “recovery” (R).

If you don’t know your race pace I suggest setting at a mile time goal.  For example, if you want to run a 10 minute mile as your RP go 6 mph and on the R you can adjust to mph slower so 4-5 mph.
The best part is that you can always adjust as you go.

What I love about this type of run is that it fits with any type of runner from the novice to the marathon runner because you adjust the speed to whatever works for you!

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The key to remembering how many minutes that the RP minutes increase 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and the R is 2 minutes except on the 1 minute RP.

Having little 1-5 minute goals really pushes me to keep going since I know can recover!

Hope you guys enjoy this run as much as I do! And I promise it’s not as easy as it looks! ;););)

Start today! Email maketimeforfit@gmail.com for a free consultation for a personalized workout program!

Self Love is the Best Love

Here’s a little hump day break that I hope will encourage you to take a few minutes and reflect how great you are. We are so critical of everything and the most critical about ourselves! Constantly comparing, critiquing our minds and bodies to “fit in.” Before the days of social media you could just enjoy yourself and not be constant bombarded by pictures and posts about this and that. Sometimes I need to remind myself, that if you can’t love yourself, it’s impossible to love anyone else and fully live your life. You aren’t conceited or cocky because you love yourself, you are treated yourself the way you deserve to be treated; with love and respect.

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Here is are 30 Ways to Practice Self-Love from lifehack.org

So do yourself a favor, take a deep breath, give yourself a little hug and start practicing the following:

  1. Start each day by telling yourself something really positive. How well you handled a situation, how lovely you look today. Anything that will make you smile.
  2. Fill your body with food and drink that nourishes it and makes it thrive.
  3. Move that gorgeous body of yours every single day and learn to love the skin you’re in. You can’t hate your way into loving yourself.
  4. Don’t believe everything you think. There is an inner critic inside of us trying to keep us small and safe. The downside is this also stops us from living a full life.
  5. Surround yourself with people who love and encourage you. Let them remind you just how amazing you are.
  6. Stop the comparisons. There is no one on this planet like you, so you cannot fairly compare yourself to someone else. The only person you should compare yourself to is you.
  7. End all toxic relationships. Seriously. Anyone who makes you feel anything less than amazing doesn’t deserve to be a part of your life.
  8. Celebrate your wins no matter how big or small. Pat yourself on the back and be proud of what you have achieved.
  9. Step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. It’s incredible the feeling we get when we realize we have achieved something we didn’t know or think we could do before.
  10. Embrace and love the things that make you different. This is what makes you special.
  11. Realize that beauty cannot be defined. It is what you see it as. Don’t let any of those Photoshopped magazines make you feel like your body isn’t perfect. Even those models don’t look like that in real life.
  12. Take time out to calm your mind every day. Breathe in and out, clear your mind of your thoughts and just be.
  13. Follow your passion. You know that thing that gets you so excited but scares you at the same time. The thing you really want to do but have convinced yourself it won’t work. You should go do that!
  14. Be patient but persistent. Self-love is ever evolving. It’s something that needs to be practiced daily but can take a lifetime to master. So be kind and support yourself through the hard times.
  15. Be mindful of what you think, feel and want. Live your life in ways that truly reflect this.
  16. Treat others with love and respect. It makes us feel better about ourselves when we treat others the way we hope to be treated. That doesn’t mean everybody will always repay the favor, but that’s their problem not yours.
  17. Find something to be grateful for every day. It’s inevitable that you are going to have your down days. This is fine and very human of you. It’s especially important on these days to find at least one thing you are grateful for as it helps to shift your mind and energy around what’s going on.
  18. Reach out to family, friends, healers, whomever you need to help you through the tough times. You are not expected to go through them alone.
  19. Learn to say no. Saying no sometimes doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you a smart person.
  20. Forgive yourself. You know that thing you did one time (or maybe a few times) that made you feel bad, embarrassed, ashamed? It’s time to let that go. You can’t change the things you have done in the past but you can control your future. Look at it as a learning experience and believe in your ability to change.
  21. Write it down. Head swimming with so many thoughts it’s giving you a headache? Write them all down on a piece of paper, no matter how crazy, mean, sad, or terrifying they are. Keep it in a journal, tear it up, burn it, whatever you need to do to let it go.
  22. Turn off and inwards. Grab a cup of your favorite tea, coffee, wine, whatever your choice of drink, and sit down for a few minutes on your own. No TV or distractions, just you. Think about the wonderful things that are happening in your life right now, what your big dreams are and how you can make them happen.
  23. Give up the need for approval from others. “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” – Dita Von Teese
  24. Be realistic. There is no person on this earth that is happy every single moment of every single day. You know why? Because we are all human. We make mistakes, we feel emotions (good and bad) and this is OK. Allow yourself to be human.
  25. Get creative and express yourself in whatever way you like. Painting, writing, sculpting, building, music, whatever takes your fancy, and make sure you leave your inner critic at the door. There are no right ways to be creative.
  26. Let go of past trauma and wounds. This can be a really tough one and it may be one of those times you need to turn to others for support. The truth is though, when we let go of things that have happened to us it’s almost like a weight is lifted off our shoulders. We don’t have to carry that around with us anymore. We deserve better.
  27. Find your happy place. Where’s the one place you feel totally at ease, calm, happy, positive, high on life? Go to that place when you are going through hard times, or imagine yourself being there. Think about how it feels, what it smells like, what it looks like.
  28. The next time you are feeling happy and on top of the world make a list of your best qualities and accomplishments. It may sound a little corny, but it can be a wonderful reminder when you are having a day that’s less than amazing.
  29. Get in touch with your inner dialogue. If it’s anything less than loving, encouraging and supportive, it’s time to make a change. You deserve to be spoken to in the same way you would speak to your best friend, sister, brother, daughter, or son.
  30. Have fun! Get out there and do the things that light your fire. Enjoy them, enjoy being you and enjoy your incredible life.

Full the full article click here

If you want to start, continue or revamp your fitness journey email maketimeforfit@gmail.com for your personalized workout program!

Do you foam roll?

I’m sure you’ve seen them at your gym. People rolling and contorting their bodies on this foam cylinder, and you think “what does that even do?”

A foam roller is a very helpful tool that helps your body recover and can help to prevent injury. When you use the foam roller  it digs into muscles to release tension, specially Self-myofascial release. It a massage technique that require longer low pressure on a muscle until it releases and the mobility and tissue are restore to their proper form. A foam roller allows you to have this type of massage by yourself.

Benefits

  • Increased blood flow throughout the body
  • Better movement and increased range of motion.

Ideally foam rolling should be down both during your warmup and your cool down. It’s so important to get your body prepared for a lift and to stretch after a workout!

Now why does it hurt?

Now if you’ve tried foam rolling and feel like you are almost forced to tears, chances are you are doing it right AND you really need it. Similar to the pain you get while stretching. It should be uncomfortable, but not unbearable, and when you release you should feel looser.

How do I do it?
I like to start with my calves and work my way up to my hamstrings. Then I move to IT bands (which usually hurt a lot because I hold a lot of tension in my hips). When I find a spot that’s tight I hold in place and bend my knee to increase the pressure. Then I move onto my quads and then inner thigh. Then the other leg – IT band, quad and inner thigh. After that I sit on the foam roller rolling over my glutes sometimes crossing my leg putting my ankle to my opposite knee to dig in deeper, switch sides. At the end I lay on the foam roller in line with my spine and up my arms up like a touchdown signal and am just still for about a minute (which is actually really long time to be still). I usually feel my shoulder and neck tension release and a great sense of calming to do nothing for a minute.

This is just my routine. There are many ways to foam roll you can what works for when you consistently include foam rolling into your workout regime.

Here are some pictures!

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I promise after a week or two of consist foam rolling your body will recover faster and your muscles will be looser over all!

references here and here

What is IDLife?

Two things are facts:
1. We are all unique
2. We aren’t getting all the nutrients we need from our daily diets.

Imagine walking into a vitamin store and looking around seeing all sorts of brands, vitamins, supplements having no clue where to start. The sales person tries to explain but they don’t really know you or your goals and besides do you really trust or feel comfortable telling them all about your personal goals?

IDLife takes that uncertainty and supports everything recommended with over 7,000 medical journals to back up each suggested vitamin. That’s why you take an (FREE) assessment. It is set up to decipher all the information about your eating habits, your activity, your goals even your allergies and puts it through algorithms to offer you a UNIQUE plan based on YOU. Crazy right?

IDLIFE is a company that is here to help with both of those facts. ID Life – Individually Designed Life defines a belief, an idea and a culture, but most importantly it defines who IDLife is as a company.  IDLife was founded on the principle that everyone should be able to design the life of his or her dreams.  Whether your ambition is to achieve better health, interact with like-minded people, operate your own business, or just have fun, IDLife is here to meet you where you are and help you design the path to where you want to be.

For what you pay now for your over the counter vitamins, you can get unique to you, pharmaceutical grade vitamins sent your house. The testimonies from these products are real and you can become the healthiest version of you today!

Visit jarmstrong427.idlife.com to take your free assessment!

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Lost in the gym? Email maketimforfit@gmail.com for your personalized workout program!