Fitness & Wellness

Look And Feel Better - Naked And Dressed

Look And Feel Better – Naked And Dressed

There are a lot of fashion tips to hide the effects of being overweight or out of shape. Unfortunately, as summer comes, it becomes harder and harder to hide the problems as clothing becomes thinner, less covering and more revealing. Getting into shape with regular exercise not only helps you look fantastic, it helps you feel good, too. You’ll find that even without clothing you’ll look and feel better, which is a big plus to your romantic life.

There’s more to working out than just how great you look.

Sure, everyone wants to look their best, but there are more benefits from a healthy lifestyle than just the obvious improvement in your appearance. You’ll have more energy when you workout regularly and eat healthy. It does more than just let you get more work done faster during the day, it makes you enjoy the day more. You’ll have energy to play with your children at the end of the day or go out with your best friends or spouse for a night of dancing.

You’ll get a brain boost, too.

Healthy eating can give your brain a boost. Exercise has the same effect. When you eat healthy, it provides the nutrients that the brain needs to function its best. Unfortunately, when you don’t eat healthy it has effects, too. High amounts of sugar increase inflammation and are harmful to the brain. In fact, studies show that it can impair brain functioning and cause depression. Exercise also improves cognitive functioning and memory. It increases circulation to send oxygen and nutrient rich blood to the brain.

Looking good naked is important for romance and so is a healthy lifestyle.

Working out and eating healthy not only make you look and feel great, it makes you more amorous. That’s right! Studies show that exercise can be the perfect preamble to great sex. It stimulates circulation to all parts of the body, which also includes your sex organs, to keep them healthy and ready for operation. It burns off the hormones of stress that can interfere with the mood and put you in a better, more receptive mood. For men, it boosts testosterone levels to add to the mix. It also lets you feel great about your body with far less self-consciousness.

  • You’ll feel more social and happy with the world when you workout. Not only does it burn off the hormones of stress, it stimulates the body to produce ones that make you feel good.
  • Exercise improves your posture, which gives you a more confident look. People treat others that are confident with more respect. That should make you feel good.
  • Those aches and pains often disappear after you workout for a while. It’s good for helping with back pain, pain from arthritis and preventing injuries that cause pain. That makes life better.
  • Not only will your body look thinner and more buff when you workout, your skin will also look better. You’ll look years younger than you are when you live a healthy lifestyle.

Find Your Confidence

Find Your Confidence

If you’re working out, you’re probably focusing on building strength, endurance or flexibility or maybe shedding weight. However, one huge benefit of getting into shape is also the confidence it builds. I see it all time here in Brentwood, CA. People start working out with a totally different focus and as they come closer and closer to their goals, they develop an air of confidence and have more presence and commanding appearance.

One reason working out builds confidence is that it improves your posture.

That’s right! Improved posture makes a huge difference in how confident you look. The most amazing part of the improved posture is that the more it improves, the more confident you look and actually feel. There’s an old phrase from self-help journals that’s “act as though.” That means that if you act as though you’re something, you fill in the blank, you become that thing. That’s certainly true for confidence. Part of the reason is that people treat you differently, so you react differently.

Reaching a goal builds confidence, too.

If you’ve attempted to get fit before and failed, you know how bad that can make you feel. However, for those that work through the tough days and see success or start to see success, it adds a whole new level of confidence. It makes you feel like you’re capable and able to achieve any goal you set. That’s actually true. You also get the skills in setting goals, breaking that goal down to smaller steps, identifying what it takes to achieve each step, set a timeline and checking off each step as you achieve them.

You’ll look better and that definitely makes you far more confident.

Getting a new, fitter appearance is all about boosting your confidence. It’s better than buying a new outfit, because it’s more than just what covers your body, it’s your actual body that looks great. Clothing will fit better if it was snug. If you lost weight, you might even have to buy some new clothing, giving you the confidence from the clothing and the confidence built from your new, far thinner body.

  • Working out is stress buster and stress can pull the stuffing out of you and leave you feeling like a frump. Burning off that stress gets you back to your old self that’s far more self-assured.
  • Working out makes you feel sexier and more attractive. That’s a huge boost for anyone in the romance department.
  • You’ll think clearer when you workout regularly. Studies show that regular exercise boosts cognitive thinking and helps memory, too.
  • You’ll develop mental toughness, so small setbacks won’t get you down. Mental toughness is the ability to keep going toward success, even after others have quit.

Is Organic Food Better

Is Organic Food Better

If you feel like you’re helping your family by purchasing organic food, but aren’t sure it’s hype or worth the extra money, you probably need some answers to help you make that decision. First, organic food is food using only grown differently if it’s fruit or vegetables and the animals are raised differently if it’s dairy, meat or eggs. There are no pesticides, sewage sludge, synthetic fertilizers, ionizing radiation or genetically modified organism used on fruits and vegetables. Animals raised organically take no growth hormones or antibiotics. They’re often free range animals, grazing on grass or their natural source of food, rather than man-made feed.

Organic foods may have more nutrients.

In order for the land to be converted to organic, it takes three years to build up by natural means. Traditional farmers simply apply potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus, which can reduce trace minerals. Several studies show that today’s fruits and vegetables contain fewer nutrients each year. While there’s not as much study on the nutrient content of organic vegetables vs traditionally grown ones, but those that are available show that organic food has higher nutrient content, including vitamin C and phytochemicals.

If you eat traditionally grown, non-organic vegetables are you guzzling pesticides.

A great study every year is one run by the EWG—Environmental Working Group. They take samples of all fruits and vegetables and check for pesticides, even after washing them. Soaking them with baking soda and water helped. The Dirty Dozen is a list of the fruits and vegetables that contain the highest amount of pesticides. This year, it should be called the Dirty Baker’s Dozen, since it contains 13 foods. The Clean 15 is a list of the foods that have the lowest amount of pesticides and chemicals. You can use this list to save money. Choose organic when they’re on the Dirty Dozen list. You can buy traditionally grown food on the Clean 15.

Organic meat, dairy and eggs have benefits, too.

Not only are you avoiding the potential for additional hormones in your system and extra antibiotics when you eat organic meat, you’re also boosting the benefits that come from the products, especially when it’s grass fed organic beef and dairy. Grassfed beef and dairy products contain more Omega-3 fatty acids that are good for the heart. They also have a type of fat called conjugated linoleic acid. It lowers the risk of cancer and heart disease. There’s more natural antioxidants and vitamins in these products. Free range eggs have lower fat and bad cholesterol, more vitamin E, Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin A.

  • Fruits and vegetables on the Dirty Dozen list include: strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, potatoes, sweet bell peppers and hot peppers. They’re in order from the worst to the least.
  • The Clean 15 include: avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, onions, sweet frozen peas, papayas, asparagus, mangos, eggplant, honeydew melon, kiwi, cantaloupe, cauliflower and broccoli.
  • Organic farming is good for the planet. It replenishes the land, while providing humane treatment for animals.
  • For a real taste treat that has more nutrition, choose heirloom varieties that are organic. There’s nothing like the taste of an heirloom tomato that hybridizing has destroyed.

Is Dairy Good For You

Is Dairy Good For You

No matter what you read about dairy, there’s another article that negates it. One group says dairy is necessary for a healthy body, while another says it’s almost toxic. So, is dairy good or bad for you? Let’s start with the type of dairy you choose. Not all dairy is created equally. There are studies that show that dairy products from grass fed cows contain conjugated linoleic acid and more Omega-3 fatty acids. That’s good! Others go a step further, choosing raw milk over pasteurized, saying the pasteurization process destroys nutrients. On the other side of the coin, the USDA says the potential for diseases, including listeria, which has a thirty percent mortality rate, is far higher in raw milk. There’s also low-fat, no fat milk and proponents of no milk at all or completing your diet with milk. It’s confusing.

Can you tolerate milk?

There’s a large group of the population that simply can’t digest milk properly. They don’t have the enzyme lactose that aids in digesting milk sugar lactose. Signs of lactose intolerance include gas, diarrhea, bloating, nausea, cramping and even skin rashes and frequent colds. Theoretically, the colds can come from acid reflux it can cause. As people age, many tend to develop lactose intolerance.

Milk is high in nutrition.

Okay, so milk can make you gassy and sick, does it offer any benefits? It certainly does. It has 18 of the 22 essential nutrients. It’s higher than any food in the diet in calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc and protein. It has folate, vitamins A, B-12, B-6, E, K, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, iron and selenium. It can help improve blood sugar levels and may be good for healthy bones and teeth. There are contradictory studies, such as the Nurses Health Study, that show it actually can increase the potential of fractures by as much as 50 percent. Also countries with the lowest milk consumption also have the lowest rate of osteoporosis.

Milk products may produce satiety.

It may be the fat or the protein in milk products that make you feel full. One study completed in 2013 showed that dairy products helped to make people feel full and eat less. Several studies show that drinking milk when young helped build strong bones and boosted dental health. It also helped reduce the amount of plaque in older adults.

  • Cows milk, particularly from grass fed cows, provides heart healthy benefits, more healthy fat and nutrients.
  • Some studies show that milk can cause eczema and other skin conditions like acne if the person drank low-fat or skim milk.
  • When choosing milk, choose organic milk, free from hormones and antibiotics.
  • While milk may not be as healthy for adults and more study is necessary, children benefit from the nutrition of milk for good health.

Foods That Help Boost Memory

Foods That Help Boost Memory

I help many clients in Brentwood, CA choose foods that help build muscle tissue, lose weight and create a healthy body, but today, I want to focus on the mind and the memory. These foods are normally part of a healthy diet, but you can increase them if you’re interested in their effect on the brain. Keeping your brain healthy is a top priority if you want to live a long and meaningful life. It’s more than just being able to answer all the questions on Cash Cab or Jeopardy, it’s enjoying every minute of learning and conversation through senior years.

Fatty fish, like salmon, contain Omega3 fatty acids.

Whether you eat trout, salmon or sardines, you’ll boost your omega-3 fatty acids. The brain needs fat. In fact, about 60 percent of the brain is fat and of that 60 percent, half of it is omega-3 fatty acid. The brain needs it as a building block. It has been shown to slow age related decline and prevent Alzheimer’s. Lack of this nutrient is also linked to aggression and depression. It boosts memory and mood, while preventing age related brain decline.

Turmeric is a brain protector and caffeine boosts brain functioning.

The curcumin in turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It’s the part of turmeric that can actually can directly enter the brain and provide benefit to the cells. It helps new brain cells grow, improves mood, may benefit memory and may even help prevent and clear the amyloid plaques that begin with Alzheimer’s. The caffeine in coffee and green tea boost your alertness, improves concentration and boosts your mood. Green tea has other substances, such as L-theanine. It also can cross the blood-brain barrier to help the brain. It helps you relax while keeping you alert. The polyphenols and antioxidants in green tea help protect the brain and green tea also boosts memory.

There are a number of nutrients and foods that boost memory.

Eggs are high in choline, a true memory booster. They also have other B vitamins that help brain functioning and boost your mood. Tree nuts not only help cognitive functioning, they help prevent brain damage. One study showed that women who ate nuts frequently had a far better memory. If you’re choosing the best nut, walnuts have all the good nutrients, plus Omega-3 fatty acids. Fruits and vegetables like oranges and red peppers are sources of vitamin C that also protects the brain.

  • Eating dark chocolate can improve your memory. It’s the flavonoids in dark chocolate that protect the brain, while improving both memory and mood.
  • Grab a handful of pumpkin seeds. They contain nutrients necessary for a healthy brain, such as copper, magnesium, iron and zinc.
  • Food that has an anti-inflammatory effect, like broccoli, are also good for the brain. Inflammation is linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s.
  • Put blueberries in a smoothie or on your breakfast cereal to get the anthocyanins that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. It can improve memory and even delay short-term memory loss.

Where Do You Get Your Nutritional Advice

Where Do You Get Your Nutritional Advice

Finding the best place to get nutritional advice can be tricky. You might think that going to your doctor for the advice is the wisest. The truth is, unless you have a physical problem, and sometimes even if you do, doctors aren’t the most versed in nutrition. They’re trained to identify illnesses, identify ways to improve that condition and spot signs you need to improve your health. Most doctors have very little formal training in nutrition in their studies. There’s just so much they have to learn, it’s often put on the back burner for doctors who want to include it in their practice. Few take those additional hours of study.

Getting information on your own from books and the internet can be confusing.

Not only is searching for the best information from various internet sites and books time-consuming, with so many sites to search, it can become confusing. Some sites glowingly praise the benefits of eating the latest new superfoods, ignoring consistent healthy entirely. Books, contain so much information that putting it together in one plan can take forever and you’re often relegated to eating a diet the author put together that may or may not be suitable for you.

Find a program offers food that’s easy to access.

While there might or might not be great health benefits in a rare herb that’s grown in the deepest part of the rain forest, that doesn’t mean you’ll find it on your local grocery shelf…or even at your favorite health food store. Even if you do manage to track down some of the exotic foods, it doesn’t mean they’ll be affordable for everyday use. Getting a nutritional program that’s logical, with food that’s affordable and accessible can be hard.

One reason we’re so proud of our online program is that it takes all the guesswork out of eating healthy.

Not everyone’s body is the same, nor does everyone need the same type of nutritional help. There is no one size fits all when it comes to nutrition. While there are generalities about nutrition, each person is different. To make it even more difficult, not everyone can eat everything. There’s lactose intolerance, food allergies, gluten intolerance and foods that simply don’t agree with some people. That’s why finding a program where the menu is created specifically for your needs is important.

  • A nutritional program, like our, starts with learning more about you and your needs before any dietary recommendations are made.
  • To make things easier, rather than providing broad generalities, we give you a shopping list and menus to follow. There’s no calorie, carb or nutrition counting. It’s simple and ready to put in place.
  • When nutritional advice is easy to follow, you’ll be more likely to follow it. If you have to work too hard to eat healthy, the chances are you won’t.
  • Hiring a nutritionist on your own can be quite expensive. Following a nutritional plan that’s cost effective makes it more accessible for a larger portion of the population.

Should You Use A Food Journal

Should You Use A Food Journal

Sometimes, eating becomes an automatic reaction that’s not even noticed. You grab a handful of snacks as you pass the bowl setting in the office kitchen. Eat a few slivers of cake while you’re cutting it for guests and lick the frosting off the knife when you’re done. All of those extra calories are often ignored, but are often the ones that put you over the edge and sabotage your weight loss program. That’s why keeping a food journal can be so important.

The information you get from a food journal will amaze you.

If you’ve never journaled, you’ll be amazed when you start recording every single bite. You’ll start notice the times you’re eating that you’d otherwise not remember. If you’re convinced that your metabolism is faulty because you don’t eat that much, a food journal might convince you otherwise. You’ll also start recognizing eating patterns. It can help if you note not only the time and place but also your mood and the circumstances when you ate. You may be using certain foods as coping mechanisms without even realizing it.

Food journaling requires you to learn portion size.

Just learning portion size can be a huge benefit. Once you realize that two cookies, not the whole package, are one portion, it will bring to light why you’re weight isn’t going down. Knowing portion size, no matter what the food, can help you identify overeating patterns. It can be tricky, especially if you put your food on large plates. Those regular portion sizes look very small when the plate is large. It might even convince you to use the dessert plates for your dinner, where it makes a single portion look huge!

Food journaling can help you feel better.

When people journal, they often find that some foods leave them feeling ill, bloated, gassy or give them a reaction the next day. A food journal can help you identify the offending food. That’s why keeping a section on how you feel after you eat is important, especially if you find yourself nauseous or ill in any way after eating. It can even save money on doctors visits, while eliminating the need for unnecessary medication.

  • Studies show that journaled for three months, compared to those who didn’t, lost weight without going on a diet.
  • Keeping a food journal is far easier now. Almost all phones have a memo section where you can voice record the food you eat and transfer it to a journal at the end of the day.
  • Food journaling not only helps you count carbs and calories, it also tells you what nutrients you might be missing in meals or have too little of, such as healthy fat and protein.
  • You’ll learn a lot about yourself from tracking your eating habits, including some information that will help you lose weight, such as why you overeat.

Detox Before The Holidays

Detox Before The Holidays

If you want to boost your immune system and prepare for the holiday season, consider a mild and healthy detox. It can be as simple as intermittent fasting. The simplest technique is the 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours where you can eat. It’s mild, yet gives your system a rest. There are other techniques to detox that don’t involve harsh changes or chemicals to rid your body of toxins. Those juice only fasts or chemical fasts to flush your system can actually cause you to have less energy when you need it the most.

Getting plenty of water is a good start to a detox.

Start your morning with a big 12 ounce glass of water, preferably well water or spring water that’s pure and free from the chemicals found in most city water. While some detox techniques suggest you have it warm and others suggest you add a few spoonfuls of lemon juice and a bit of sea salt, just getting your system started with pure water is what’s important. Have plenty of water on hand to drink throughout the day. It’s critical to flushing your system.

Go for more natural hygiene products.

If you’ve ever read the ingredients on your shampoo or personal hygiene products, you’ll see a whole list of ingredients that look a lot like a chapter from Chemistry 101. Less is more in this case. Go for castile soap without additives. Get a good luffa and start your shower. Alternate your water from hot to cold and back again for a few minutes then scrub, scrub, scrub. Soap up the luffa and scrub your body starting at your feet and working toward the heart. It gets your lymphatic system moving as it exfoliates the skin.

Cut back on coffee, sugar, processed foods, gluten and dairy.

Cut back slightly on meat if you normally eat a lot. Choose grass-fed organic beef and pork, while going with wild fish. Include loads of fresh vegetables in each meal. Cutting out sugar can also mean cutting back on fruit to one piece a day. It limits the sugar that can compromise your immune system. Say no to dairy, soy and even corn. These are inflammation producing foods that can also cause excess mucus. While it’s not necessary to stick with raw foods, having a bowl of veggies ready to snack on helps.

  • Cleansing juices, such as beet juice or a ginger, lemon or cayenne pepper mix, should be included in your diet once a day.
  • Get plenty of exercise and sweat out those toxins. You’ll not only feel great after a workout, you’ll burn off stress hormones, too.
  • Make sure you have adequate fiber in your diet during this type of detox. Fiber is what helps move those toxins out of your system in waste.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Sleep is healing and rejuvenating. Go to bed before midnight and get up earlier. Sleep in a dark room to boost the effectiveness and turn off all electronic devices.

How To Keep Motivated

How To Keep Motivated

In order to keep motivated, you need to first identify what your motivation was to start a program of healthy eating and exercise. Everyone’s motivation is different. It may be that you tried on your favorite outfit and found there was no way you could close the zipper or that you had a health scare. Some people find that class reunions, the holidays or weddings are incentives to get back into shape, while others just want to see the glow of pride in spouse’s and children’s eyes when they introduce them to friends.

Make sure the motivation is yours, not someone else’s.

I hear it all the time, “My spouse thinks I need to lose a few pounds.” or “My mother, sister or whoever influences your life, says I’d be better looking if I lost ten pounds.” I normally tell these people they’re doomed to fail if they don’t have a personal motivation that drives them. Getting into shape is tough and if you’re doing it for any other reason than your own desires, the follow through dwindles after a few weeks. You either see it as a benefit or you don’t. Your motivation should help set the fire under you and if it’s someone else’s desire, it won’t.

Making your doctor’s suggestion your own.

If your doctor suggests you shed pounds for your health, your motivation really isn’t that the doctor said it, but that you want to live longer and enjoy children, grandchildren and life in general. While your doctor pointed out the importance of exercise, in order to stay motivated, you need to think of all the reasons you want to be healthier and live longer. Do you want to be a burden to others? Is enjoying every minute of life to the fullest important? Living longer and healthier means having the time and energy to do more things. Focus on what you want out of life and how working out and eating healthy can help you achieve those goals.

Track the results that mean the most to you.

You do need to track the number of repetitions you do and the number of sets, but keeping statistics on weight loss isn’t important if one of your goal was just to get healthier and not necessarily to lose weight. Are you exercising for better health? What tells you that you’re fitter? Improving your strength is one way to check it, checking your endurance (like tracking how many stairs you can climb without needing to rest) or even noting your blood pressure. If a goal is to look better, take measurements once a week. Using charting can help you focus on your goal and those successes can keep you motivated when the going gets tough.

  • Remember, there are other benefits to eating healthy and exercising regularly besides boosting your overall good health and weight loss. For instance, looking younger and feeling younger is one of those. That can keep you motivated.
  • Another great motivation is the benefit that regular exercise and a healthy diet has on your brain power. Not only will it help you at work, it reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s by up to 50%.
  • If you’re feeling grumpy and stressed out after a day at work and feel like skipping your workout, remember that exercise is a great stress buster. Not only does it burn off the hormones of stress, it stimulates the body to replace them with “happy hormones.”
  • For those working on weight loss, one tried and true method is to buy clothing in a smaller size. While your ultimate goal may be several sizes smaller, get it just one size smaller for a quicker success that boosts your motivation.

Foods That Are Good For Your Heart

Foods That Are Good For Your Heart

If you go to one of the many farmer’s markets in Brentwood, CA, you’ll find many foods that are good for your heart. Best of all, these are grown locally, often organic and fresh. One perfect example is fresh berries. Berries are chock full of polyphenols and antioxidants that help fight chronic disease. They also have soluble fiber and phytonutrients to strengthen the heart. Add some to your salad, use them to sweeten plain yogurt or just grab a handful as a snack.

Go nuts for nuts for a healthy heart.

We’re so lucky that 80% of the almonds produced are grown in California. That’s because almonds, just like walnuts, another nut grown in California, are super good for the heart. Nuts are high in protein, high in healthy fat and have other substances that keep your heart pumping strong. The healthy fat is unsaturated fat and Omega3 fatty acids. They contain fiber that lowers cholesterol, vitamin E-a plaque fighter for the arteries, L-arginine that makes your artery walls flexible and reduces the risk of clotting and plant sterols that lowers cholesterol. Seeds, like flaxseed, also have many of the same benefits.

Fresh vegetables are available all year in our area.

Whether you’re a fan of asparagus or simply love red peppers, you’ll be doing your heart a favor. Broccoli is great for all parts of your body and all systems. It has vitamins E and C, plus potassium, calcium, fiber and folate. Asparagus also contains folate and fiber, plus it has many other nutrients, including beta-carotene that the body turns into vitamin A.

Create inexpensive meals and get heart healthy at the same time with dark colored beans.

Garbanzo beans, lentils, kidney beans, crowder peas, navy beans and lentils are just a few of the beans that not only are a source of vegetarian protein, they’re also good for the heart. One study showed that people who ate beans at least four times a week had a 22 percent reduced risk for heart disease than those that ate them less than once a week. One reason is the soluble fiber in beans that binds the cholesterol. Another may be all the protective nutrients and phytochemicals in beans, many of which are also in berries and chocolate. The more beans you eat, the less like you will be to gas up and bloat.

  • If you drink between a half cup and a cup of red wine every day, you lower your risk of heart disease. For those non-drinkers, grape juice is also good. They both boost good cholesterol levels. Whole grapes also have those benefits, plus they add fiber to your diet.
  • Oatmeal is heart healthy, too. It lowers bad cholesterol and has heart healthy soluble fiber.
  • Switch to fresh spinach instead of iceberg lettuce for your sandwiches. Fresh spinach contains high amounts of vitamin k, magnesium, carotenoids, magnesium, iron and fiber, plus so much more.
  • Don’t forget to top your meal off with some yellow or orange fruit like papaya, cantaloupe or oranges. They have high amounts of beta-carotene, plus fiber, magnesium and potassium.