Fitness & Wellness

Here’s another guilt-free pasta recipe for you!

Here’s another guilt-free pasta recipe for you!

Here’s another guilt-free pasta recipe for you!
You won’t need a spiral slicer for this one, simply use a regular veggie peeler – like the kind you would use to peel the skin from a potato – to create long, flat zucchini noodles. This recipe has a scrumptious, nutty flavor that will make you forget all about traditional noodles. Feel free to serve with some sliced chicken breast, sliced hard-boiled eggs or steak for added protein. Enjoy!
What you need
Serves 4
1 teaspoon coconut oil
Pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon almond flour
4 large zucchinis, peeled with a veggie peeler
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
1 Tablespoon minced parsley
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, about two minutes. Add the coconut oil, and once it’s melted, add the almond flour and a pinch of salt.
2. Stir often with a wooden spoon, until it’s toasty brown, about two minutes. Remove crumbs from the pan and save for garnish.
3. In the same skillet, add the peeled zucchini noodles. Sauté them until just tender, about one to two minutes. Turn heat to low.
4. In a new pan on low heat, combine olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes, stirring with a spoon until fragrant, about 20 seconds.
5. Transfer the zucchini noodles to garlic and oil mixture. Toss and stir until they’re coated.
6. Turn off the heat and add parsley, salt, and black pepper. Sprinkle with almond flour crumbs before serving. Enjoy!
165 calories, 12g fat, 72mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, and 6g protein

Ditch These 5 Sweets

Ditch These 5 Sweets


How often has your sweet tooth ruined your clean diet?

Yes, sweet are delicious and tempting, but will get you into pants that are another size larger. And into your doctor’s office for another lecture. And into a body that you are ashamed of.

The life-long repercussions of a diet filled with too much sugar far outweigh the momentary pleasure.

To help you conquer your sugar craving once and for all, I’ve identified 5 sweets you should ditch, and a healthy substitute for each.

1. Ditch this Sweet: Candy

Nothing gets refined sugar circulating through your body quicker than a fistful of candy—and if you’re in the habit of eating candy daily then your body will crave it.

Candy has virtually no nutritional value, other than caloric energy, and will quickly end up stored on your body in the form of unwanted, annoying fat.

Do This: Swap candy out for a handful of unsalted nuts, a few pieces of unsweetened, dried fruit, or a small square of very dark chocolate (at least 72% cocoa content).

2. Ditch this Sweet: Baked Goods

Cake, cookies, brownies, pastries, donuts, and pies are filled with sugar. While these may not taste as sweet as candy, the combination of refined sugar and white flour will spike your blood sugar just the same.

Very much like candy, regularly eating baked goods may become a habit. Break yourself of this and you’ll find the number on your scale going down rather than up.

Do This: Put down the cookie and reach for a piece of fresh, seasonal fruit. Fruit is nature’s candy and is every bit as blissful as a slice of cake. Serving a beautiful fruit platter to guests can be as delightful as any baked treat.

3. Ditch this Sweet: Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt

Nothing makes you feel as happy and carefree as a bowl of creamy ice cream…until that ice cream makes its permanent home on your waist. Very much like candy, ice cream has few nutritional benefits.

Do This: Mix unsweetened, nonfat Greek yogurt with a scoop of vanilla protein powder and mix in some chopped, fresh fruit. This creamy delight is much lower in sugar than ice cream and tastes amazing!

4. Ditch this Sweet: Soft Drinks

A regular can of soda pop contains the equivalent of 10 packets of sugar. That’s more sugar than you should consume in a full week!

Soft drinks something that you get into the habit of drinking and then do without thinking. The good news is that a habit can be broken and then replaced with something healthier.

Do This: Take soda pop out of your diet. Period. There are plenty of other, healthier, beverages available to you. Try the recipes for Spa Water below.

5. Ditch this Sweet: Blended Drinks

Smoothies, blended coffee drinks and milkshakes are all tempting treats, especially in hot summer months. Don’t give in to the temptation!

These items are even more deadly than most treats since they are consumed through a straw and don’t make you feel full. Let me assure you that even though you don’t feel full, like you would after a piece of cake, you’re still taking in a bunch of sugary calories.

Do This: Make your own healthy blended drinks at home by using natural sweeteners like stevia, or simply by using fruit. Blend a delicious protein shake with ice, milk and protein powder.

A great thing to remember is that once you’ve fallen out of the habit of eating sugar, your body will no longer crave it.

This means that each day spent in discipline will bring you closer to the day that sugar no longer has a hold over you. Imagine how much happier and healthier you will be!

Eating healthy is half of the battle when it comes to fitness and wellness. The other, equally important, side is maintaining a regular, challenging exercise program.

For an exercise program to be challenging it must always be changing. That’s why my workouts are never the same.

It’s my goal to get you into the best shape of your life. Message me today to begin your transformation!

Should You Be Worried About Hormones In Food

Should You Be Worried About Hormones In Food

Farming is no longer a mom and pop industry where many different farmers contributed to the food supply. It’s now a multi-million dollar industry with factory farms that produce a large percentage of the food that’s available. There are new techniques to get more marketable food at the lowest possible cost and reap more money per acre from land crops. One of these techniques is to give farm animals hormones and antibiotics. That causes some people to be worried about hormones in food. They may be right to be concerned.

Cows get a dose of the hormone Recombinant bovine growth hormone—rBGH—to boost the production of milk.

What is rBGH? It’s a hormone created in the lab to help increase the production of milk. It does the job, but it also transfers to the milk. Is there a consequence those who drink the milk? It stimulates the production of IGF-1—-insulin-like growth factor—in the milk and to the body of those who consume the milk products from cows given this hormone. That hormone not only acts like HGF–human growth factor—on the body, too much of it can increase the risk for prostate, breast and other types of cancer. According to most studies, however, there’s so little increase in the amount of IGF-1 that the difference is insignificant.

There are consequences for using rBGH.

Even though the FDA and food industry insist there is no need to worry about the potential for physical harm to the body of people consuming dairy products from cows given rBGH, there are consequences. The cows have a higher incidence of mastitis, which are infections of the udder. In turn, farmers then give them antibiotics to clear up the infection. At some farms, whether it a dairy or other type of farm, animals are regularly treated with antibiotics. It keeps them healthier in crowded, stressful conditions and helps them grow faster. Even though there’s a waiting period for the antibiotic to leave the animal’s body before it can be taken to market, it can increase the potential for antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Other hormones in animal products and genetic modifications.

Besides rBGH, which promotes milk production, there are other hormones given to animals to boost growth. Progesterone, testosterone and estrogen are added. Natural steroid hormones and synthetic ones are given to boost growth and shorten the growth cycle. It does increase both meat and milk production, but at what cost to the public? There’s no clear answer whether people can absorb those hormones by eating meat, eggs or drinking milk from cows given the hormones and whether they actually affect the body if absorption is possible.

  • Some scientists believe that the hormones in food may account for the earlier age for onset of puberty. It’s averaging seven months earlier since farmers started giving farm animals hormones on a regular basis.
  • A study in the 2009 issue of Medical Hypotheses stated there was a potential for delayed effects in children whose mother’s drank milk high in rBGH. Another study said it could cause low sperm count in male children when they become adults.
  • If you’re concerned about hormones in animal products, error on the side of safety. Use products labeled organic, hormone and antibiotic free.
  • There are some smaller studies that show increased blood levels of IG-1 boosts the risk for several diseases, including diabetes.

Why Grains Are Unhealthy

Why Grains Are Unhealthy

In the world of nutrition, there’s a lot of controversy in almost every area. One of those is whether grains are unhealthy or whether they need to be part of your daily diet. Grains are the seed from plants in the cereal family. They contain three parts; bran, germ and endosperm if they’re whole grain. If they’re processed or refined, only the endosperm, the part containing mostly starchy carbs and some protein, is used. The germ, which is the most nutritious part of the grain, and the bran, containing antioxidants, minerals and fiber, are removed.

Refined grains and flour can be detrimental to your health.

One of the most prevalent causes of preventable death is obesity. There are many factors that have driven obesity to the top of the list, even surpassing smoking. Processed foods, high sugar content and foods made with refined flours are a few. While whole grains are heart healthy, processed grains have nothing to offer but calories. Grain in this form digests quickly and cause spikes in blood sugar levels. They have none of the beneficial effects of whole grains, just the calories and potential for metabolic diseases.

Paleo diets eliminate all grains.

Paleo diets eliminate grains because they claim man has only been cultivating them for 10,000 years and not long enough to change our bodies so we can digest them properly. However, recent findings of starch granules on the teeth of a skull and stone tools used to grind show that man may have been eating grains for as long as 100,000 years, which is more than adequate time for our bodies to evolve. Even if man has been eating grains for a long time, going grain free has its benefits. Some are better digestion, improved digestive microbes, reduction of inflammation, weight loss and improved cholesterol

There are other reasons to avoid or reduce the intake of even whole grains.

Grains contain an enzyme inhibitor. It’s natural and help propagate the seeds. Birds and animals eat grains and those that aren’t crushed, avoid digestion by inhibiting the enzymes required. They’re then passed through in the animal’s stool, where they eventually grow into a plant. Grains can cause digestive problems. They also contain phytic acid, which prevents mineral absorption in the small intestines.

  • You can make grains easier to digest by soaking, fermenting and sprouting them. In fact, sprouted grain bread containing no processed flour is extremely good for you.
  • High intake of grains may promote tooth decay.
  • The grains grown today is far less rich in nutrients than grain from ancient times. In fact, most of the grain today comes from a strain created via genetic manipulation and cross-breeding in the 1960s. It costs less to raise and yields more volume.
  • If you want to keep grain in your diet for its health benefits, make it grain products from whole grains, ancient grains or sprouted, soaked or fermented whole grains are the healthiest to have in your diet.

What Will Eating Too Much Sugar Do?

What Will Eating Too Much Sugar Do?

If you’re like me and many of my clients in Brentwood, One of the hardest things to give up when starting to eat healthier was eating sugar. Sugary foods have always been a special treat in my home and one that’s been associated with holidays and rewards. When you go into any store, at the checkout there’s always candy near the checkout. Who can resist putting those delicious looking pastries in your cart when you see them so prominently displayed in the bakery area? Even stopping for a soft drink means overloading with sugar. However, there’s no doubt about it, eating too much sugar is one of the worse things you can do for your health.

There’s a theory that man has a built in desire for sugar.

Some anthropologists hypothesize that the love of sugar is built into man. Fruits and some vegetables that are ripe and perfect for eating are sweet. Sugary tasting plants that were sweet were safe to eat in early times. Times have changed and in an effort to appeal to that primal desire for sugar, it’s now in almost every processed food. There are even altered types of sugars that have a dramatic negative effect on overall health.

While eating whole foods and natural foods is promoted, sugary foods aren’t on that list.

Even if it’s natural, like honey, sugar causes health issues. In the animal world, humans, domesticated animals and bears are the only ones that get cavities. Why? It’s because of sugar. Domesticated animals eat processed foods that contain sugar, just as humans do. Wild bears are drawn to the natural sweetness of honey. While it’s directly from the hive, it also promotes tooth decay. Not only does sugar cause dental problems, sugar, of any type, contributes to obesity, increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes, damages the immune system and accelerates aging.

There are several types of sugar, so just reading the label may be deceiving.

You may have heard of high fructose corn syrup—HFCS, dextrose, sucrose, beet sugar, cane sugar, maltose, fructose, dextrose and cane sugar, but there are many, many other words used for sugar content, well over fifty of them. When manufacturers put sugar on the label, they often break them down to several types of sugar, so it doesn’t appear at the top of the list of ingredients. That trickery could mean even if you’re careful, you might be getting more sugar than you’d ever expect.

  • One of the most promoted types of sugar, HFCS, is found in almost every processed food. It reacts differently in your body and actually increases your appetite, which may account for the increased rise in obesity. It increases the potential for dementia, heart disease and damage to the stomach lining.
  • Fat was once thought to be the villain in heart disease, but the major study pointing to fat was paid for by the sugar industry and flawed. It turns out that except for trans fats, sugar is the prime culprit.
  • Sugar activates the same brain areas as cocaine. Many scientists think it may be as addictive as that drug. It interferes with our sense of taste, making normally sweet foods taste less sweet.
  • If your blood pressure is high, cutting out salt helps, but so does cutting out extra sugar. Some studies show sugar may be a worse offender than salt to make the numbers rise.

Raise Your Quality Of Life

Raise Your Quality Of Life

Living longer is something everyone wants to do. However, living longer also comes with some pitfalls, such as living longer and being incapacitated or sick. Exercise can help you not only live longer, but also raise your quality of life for now and for those extended years. Living longer is good, but living longer and healthier is far better. Working out not only adds years to your life, it adds more life to those years.

You’ll prevent serious conditions when you workout.

Whether it’s high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease or osteoporosis, you’ll have less risk of these serious conditions when you workout regularly. You don’t have to be a senior to feel the negative effects of these conditions. All of them require careful monitoring and medications. They also can limit some of your activity. Ironically, to combat all these conditions, you have to change your dietary habits and start working out. Why wait until you have to make those changes when you can do it now and enjoy a healthier life?

You’ll have a better attitude toward life when you exercise regularly.

Exercise burns off the hormones of stress. It makes you feel more confident and ready to tackle difficult situations and goals. Right there should be enough to make you want to drop and do a few pushups. Okay, so it doesn’t, you get the idea. You’ll not only have the physical endurance to do more, you’ll also have improved cognitive skills. No matter how old you are, exercise can help brain functioning and keeping the blues at bay.

The more you exercise, the more mobile you are.

Again, you might think of seniors when it comes to limited mobility, but that can occur at any age in varying degrees if you’re out of shape. For the senior, it might make the difference between living independently and going to a facility that provides help for everyday tasks. For the younger person, it could be as simple as enjoying hiking with the family or sitting at home waiting for them to return because you don’t have the energy for hiking.

  • You’ll heal faster when you workout regularly. Studies show that the older you are, the slower you heal. However, studies also show that people who workout regularly heal 25 percent faster.
  • You’ll feel better about yourself. One study found that people who started exercise programs had an improved self image, even before they saw results. When you see the great results, you’ll definitely feel better about yourself.
  • You’ll digest food better. Several studies show that exercise when you exercise regularly, it can reduce or eliminate heartburn, gas, constipation and stomach cramps. It improves the functioning of intestines and even helps improve beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract.
  • A program of healthy eating and regular exercise can boost your energy level. You’ll get more done and have energy to spare for fun things at the end of the day.

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.