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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Why are you not seeing results?

Often we get caught up with in the instant gratification. You can post a picture online seconds after you take it or you can Google the answer you any question you may have.But somethings can’t be sped up or shortcuts just won’t cut it. Your health is one of those things.  Good things take time, and great things take consistency.

Some reasons you may not be reaching or maintaining your fitness and lifestyle goals.

  1. Fail to plan then plan to fail
    It takes a little bit of effort but a little planning goes a long way. When hunger strikes, the last thing you want to do is make food. You want something easy and quick. Try making salads in a bag or jar so you have a go to snack or meal easy and ready! Planning ahead will help you stay on track and not worry about making a poor decision! Plan your meals out for the week on a Sunday and you can prevent yourself from making hasty choices when hungry!
  2. Share your fitness goals!
    Eating healthy is so much easier as a team than as a individual. Share your goals with your friends and family and work together!
  3. Eat Protein
    Try to incorporate protein into every meal, especially if you have increased your workout routine. Protein helps rebuild your muscles so feed them properly to get the results you want!
  4. Avoid alcohol
    Sometime this is the hardest thing to do! Going out with friends or after a hard day at work you just want a nice cocktail or glass of wine. Be smart and limit your intake to only one drink.
  5. Exercising more to eat more
    No matter what way you slice it you can NOT out exercise a bad diet. Your body needs certain foods for nourishment and you just can’t justify eating an entire pizza and 3 rounds of drinks because you ran 2 miles, sorry it just doesn’t work like that!
  6. Cutting out sweets entirely
    Don’t deprive yourself completely or you are setting yourself up to fail. Keep yourself in check with moderate portions and you can enjoy a treat once in a while.
  7. Eating healthy and living active is a life style!If you keep yourself in check each day you will want sweets and unhealthy foods less and less, your body will stop craving it! Don’t set up a “cheat day” or “cheat meal” just keep consistently eating vegetables, protein and complex carbs and it will be easier to stick to your plan and reach your goals.

Good luck on your journey to healthy living!

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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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Remember to stretch after your workout!

You finish your workout and are ready to walk out the door. Just before you leave you see a few people stretching and you think “I probably should, but i just wait to get home.” Well well well let me tell you that just because you can’t SEE the results of stretching – it is just as important to help reach your goals, whether it’s losing weight or wanting to compete.

Stretching can lead to better posture, fewer aches and pains, greater confidence, and EVEN a cheerier outlook on life (yep! sure can!). Sitting can be hard on your glutes and your back. Stretching helps keep from these muscles from atrophying over time. If stretching hurts – it’s cause you really need it. Breathe through the stretch and imagine your muscle tissues releasing. Practice makes perfect. The more you stretch the easier it is and better you will feel over all.

Here is my cool down stretching routine. Find whatever works for you! I promise with consistent stretching you will feel like a new you!

Walk on treadmill til my heart rate is down (wear a heart rate monitor so you are always aware of your heart rate). Then legs a little wider than shoulder width apart, stretch down feeling it your hamstrings, go to the right side then the left and finish back at center – holding each for about 10-15 counts.

Hip flexors right leg back in a lunge position and press hips forward and squeeze right glute, then straighten left leg and lean forward to feel the stress in your hamstring. I do this 5 times alternating hip flexor and hamstring holding about 8 counts for each stretch. Then do this same thing with the left leg back squeezing that glute and pressing hips forward then straighten right leg out for hamstring stretch on that side, again holding for 8 counts each.

Next I sit on the mat and stretch my glutes by bringing my right ankle to the top of my left knee and you’ll feel that pull in your glutes. The closer the leg is to your body the deeper the stretch. Then do a spinal twist turning to the right – repeat this on the left side.

Then I lay on my back and do some spinal twists with bent knees.

Stretch out my neck from side to side then reach high then I’m done!

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Reference here

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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Don’t beat yourself up!

I used to get the worst guilt if I missed a workout or ate too much at dinner or even ate a cookie. But it’s important to remember – You are human and you don’t need to be 100% perfect all the time.

It’s simple, try to eat unprocessed foods and if you want a cookie have one maybe two, just not the whole box.

If you put yourself on a zero tolerance diet, you are setting yourself up to fail. Remember the first bite is always the best. Enjoy it then move on.  Don’t beat yourself up if you accidentally splurge!  Just don’t let it ruin the rest of the day.

One bad meal is just that one bad meal! If you crack your phone screen you don’t take a hammer and shatter the rest of it! It’s about moderation. Each meal, snack, dessert are independent of each other so don’t let one bad meal trigger a chain reaction! Plus, the longer you eat unprocessed foods and load up on vegetables the less you’ll crave sweets and other unhealthy foods!

Good luck, happy eating and here’s a quote I like to read if I get off track.

“Balance is key. In everything you do. Dance all night long and practice yoga the next day. Drink wine but don’t forget your green juice. Eat chocolate when your heart wants it and kale salad when your body needs it. Wear high heels on Saturday and walk barefoot on Sunday. Go shopping at the mall and then sit down and meditate in your bedroom. Live high and low. Move and stay still. Embrace all sides of who you are and live your authentic truth! Be brave and bold and spontaneous and loud and let that complement your abilities to find silence and patience and modesty and peace. Aim for balance. Make your own rules and don’t let anybody tell you how to live according to theirs.”
Rachel Brathen
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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

Simple and delicious salad

One of my “go-to” salad is this spinach avocado tomato salad. It’s easy and delicious.

Recipe:
Spinach leaves
Half an avocado, diced
Half a tomato,  diced
Dash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Viola simple, easy and nutritious! And the best part – there’s no wrong way to make a salad. Add in more of what you like and take out what you don’t.

What are your favorite salads?!

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Hitting the gym?  Email maketimeforfit@gmail.com for a FREE consultation for a personalized workout program!

Stay on track even when dining out

Headed out for dinner? Here are some tips that can help you stay on track with you fitness lifestyle goals!

One tip I use when dining out is to order half my meal. Just ask the server to box up half for you before you get it.
You’ll be surprised how much food half is, and you trick your brain because when you clean your plate you won’t feel terrible afterwards!

Another tip I use is to always get the side of vegetables! Fries have zero nutritional value, just don’t get them -you’ll be OK I promise!

You know you can order those veggies dry? They won’t be raw but they won’t use a half a stick of butter when sauteing them.

This is half of my dinner from the other night

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I got a chicken caprese sandwich with a side of zucchini and squash. That doesn’t look like half a meal does it? Portion sizes are outrageously large in restaurants and often times our eyes are way bigger than our stomach! Go to the restaurant with the mindset to order half and you’ll get to enjoy your meal without the guilt! PLUS you get leftovers!

Need a workout program? Start today! Email maketimeforfit@gmail.com for a free consultation to get your 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.

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