Archives for the month of: June, 2012

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So I finally found an unsweetened almond coconut milk. Yesss! I grabbed some the other night and had a glass after dinner. Of course the only thing I could think about was how awesome it would taste with chocolate in it; and alas came this recipe. It takes about 60 seconds to make and it serves as a great low calorie dessert (about 60).

1cup of a/c milk
1tbs unsweetened cocoa (I use ghiradelli because it’s not processed with alkali which takes away cocoa’s natural antioxidants)
Stevia or other sweetener to taste

1. Melt cocoa in a little bit of milk for about 30s in microwave and let cool
2. Add rest of milk and sweetener (I used 2 packets)
3. Omnomnom!

Let me know what you guys think!
-L

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See Part one of this review.

In part I of her book, Frankel outlines her ten rules about being ‘naturally thin.’ I will list them in order of importance (this is just my opinion).

  1. Know thyself

This rule really struck a cord with me because I think you must know yourself before you can conquer any of the other rules. When do you get hungry? Why are you hungry? Are you truly hungry or is it just because you were watching Man vs Food? What foods do you love? What foods do you not love? What are your unhealthy triggers? What do you have a hard time controlling?

For example: Every time I eat cereal, I overeat. It’s sweet, it’s easy, it’s readily accessible. Even if I pour myself a small bowl and close up the box, I always end up re-opening it and pouring some more. Solution? I stopped having it in the house. I can live without cereal, and most brands are junk; full of processed carbs and sugar, anyway.

  1. Your diet is your bank account

This rule is really about picking your battles and finding balance. She compares diet to your bank account; you have to balance your spending and your saving. When you invest in a dietary “splurge” make sure that it’s worth it, and balance your splurge with a save. You wouldn’t buy a 70 inch flatscreen if you don’t watch TV that much right? Why would you eat that week-old-left-over cake if it’s not that good?

For example: It’s Sunday morning you and your friends have plans to go out to breakfast. You know they make bomb banana pancakes which are your absolute favorite. This is your splurge and you indulge (with the short stack that you split with someone) Now, since we seek balance, lunch is going to be a big helping of veggies and some lean protein. Balance. Boom.

  1. Get real

Real food, we mean. Were talkin’ stuff that grows or lives on mother earth; not man made chemically injected junk. I must be honest with you- this rule I only started implementing within the last couple of years. Thinking back to my childhood, my mom almost always cooked at home and it was usually meat, potatoes, and some sort of veggie (she was irish- you can imagine). Then high school and college rolled around when I had more power over what I ate and I can tell you I did not give a damn about having organic fruits and veggies, cage free eggs or grass-fed, hormone free protein. You wouldn’t believe how much walmart brand mac and cheese I would crush when I was a poor college student. Now however, I know how important it is nourish my body with good quality food. The more natural and real… the better. That being said however, don’t stress yourself out. There’s going to be times when you’re going to eat man made and processed stuff. You’re not going to die- just try to keep it to a minimum. The last thing she mentions is about soda; it is the one thing that she does put off limits. And I completely agree- there’s just no need for it. Stop buying it for your house, and stop ordering it at restaurants. It’s a waste.

Pay attention

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard someone tell you to not watch TV and eat at the same time. Well Frankel tells you too. These are some of her simple tips:

a)      Tune into your food prep- appreciate the process

b)      Taste your food- don’t just shovel it in

c)      Chew your food slowly and well

d)      Take a seat, slow down, pause between bites, and calm yourself

  1. Good for you

This rule is all about being proactive, taking control, and changing your life for the better. Frankel uses the ‘no excuses’ mantra; she urges your to get out of your comfort zone and make a change. Finally, the topic of exercise arises. She simply tells you to move more and find something you like doing. You don’t need to be a gym rat or a triathlete to be healthy. She also talks about getting better sleep, actively participating in your social life, and having a positive self image.

  1. You can have it all, just not all at once

Do you know what you really want? This chapter relates with ‘know thyself’ very well. Everything is easier when you know what you want. This rule is helpful when you’re faced with a lot of choices (ie a buffet or cocktail hour with lots of appetizers). Take some time to glance around, decide what investment you want to make (your diet is your bank account) and make sure you truly enjoy your choice. You can have it all (your favorite cheese, or antipasto item, or chocolate cupcake), just not all at once (pick one- and balance it with a save).

  1.  Downsize now!

Pretty obvious rule here. This is all about reducing your calorie intake. Frankel gives some great tips on how to start this so you don’t feel deprived. Think about where you can give up some calories. For example, do you always eat two pieces of toast for breakfast just out of habit? Could you deal with just having one? Can you split an entrée with your dinner date? Can you down size your plates and bowls? Frankel also talks about a concept called “the point of diminishing returns.” When you’re eating something, it’s the point at which (because you’re paying attention) your enjoyment is not as high as the first few bites. Think about it and try it… it actually happens. Stop eating when you’ve reached this point. This leads nicely intro rule number 8:

  1. Cancel your membership in the clean plate club

Sorry Mom, America is different now, you’re doing more harm than good by polishing off your plate at every meal. This can mostly be applied to ordering at restaurants, but works at home too. Share it, save it, or leave it… in that order. Share it- involves other people, and it can make meal times more fun or intimate. Save it- use your leftover dinner for tomorrow’s lunch (this sometimes requires a little creativity). Leave it- what happens when your food just really isn’t that good? Or you’re at a restaurant and you’re not in the situation where you can take it home? Leave it.

  1. Check yourself before you wreck yourself

Ever gone on a binge before? We’ve all been there. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. Say it. Repeat it. Since our previous 8 rules allow us to not be deprived, binging should diminish and eventually not be in your vocabulary at all. Be kind to yourself, break the habit, and realize that you are always in control of what you choose to eat. Stop binging.

  1. Taste everything, eat nothing

I don’t necessarily love the title of this rule, and Frankel acknowledges that it’s misleading. But hopefully by now you realize that this isn’t literal, because people who are naturally thin don’t deprive themselves. Frankel talks a lot about her time in Italy, and how Italians do not obsess, but appreciate food, eat whatever they want, and manage to stay thin. If you decide to have a meal that is considered indulgent, choose a variety of foods, pay attention, taste and appreciate everything, and don’t feel compelled to clean your plate (share it, save it, or leave it).

Conclusion:

Obviously my abbreviated version is just a glimpse of what this book has to offer. It has a ton of easy and delicious recipes, specific strategies for each rule, and even blurbs and personal stories called “Naturally Thin Thoughts” and “Heavy Habits.” Part II entails putting these principles into practice, and each chapter is a day in the life of a ‘naturally thin’ person.

I don’t know if you can tell, but this book got me pumped up. It was more than I expected it would be. I can promise you I’ll be reading and referencing this book way more in hopes to conquer every rule. But for now, I’m going to tell you that I’m going to work on the 1 rule that I deemed most important, which was the first one on my list. Your number 1 may be different from my number 1; pick 1 rule that resonates with you most, and work on conquering it. And if you didn’t notice, most of the rules all intertwine and relate to each other. Although I can’t speak from experience quite yet, I can imagine that the further you go down the list of conquering each rule… the easier they get to conquer.

I look forward to Reading Bethenny’s sequel, “The Skinnygirl Dish: Easy recipes for your naturally thin life” Hopefully I can write about it soon.

Take control!

-L

To read more on Bethenny, find her website at www.bethenny.com

Preface

Warning: This blog post is about a diet and lifestyle book I recently read that was written by a women. I, myself, am a women. And I have a feeling that the topics being written here will generally appeal to women. That being said, I think men can still benefit from reading this, especially those who are struggling with weight loss. If you’re a man (or a woman for that matter) trying to gain 30 pounds… you can leave.. I wont be mad.

-L

A little anecdote about why I’m writing this…

So the morning after our beloved ‘girls night’ last weekend (does everyone know I live with 4 boys?) I snuck into my friends kitchen before everyone else got up to steal a cup of morning joe. While waiting for my brew something caught my eye. It was a book, and it was called “The Skinnygirl Dish.” It was by a name that I recognized- Bethenny Frankel; a reality TV personality and natural foods chef that seemed, in my opinion, actually real. Out of mostly boredom and a little curiosity I picked it up and glanced at the first few pages. My attention came to the first page which consisted of testimonials of the decidedly preceded book called “Naturally Thin.” The first testimonial read as follows:

“I just want to thank you for changing my life… I truly don’t think about food the same way after reading your book. Your words made so much sense to me that I started living by them immediately. That was three months ago and I’ve very easily dropped 15 pounds.” -Kim

The part that stuck out to me most wasn’t the ’15 pounds in 3 months,’ it was the ‘I don’t think about food the same way.’ Changing the way we think about food? That’s where weight loss starts right? In our heads…

My job in it’s nature makes me explore the benefits (and disadvantages) of food, and the best ways to eat for health, strength, and vitality. My own journey with a healthy mindset and relationship with food is really in its infancy. I still struggle with negative self talk, feelings of being out of control, and an imperfect self image. I’m writing this now to share with you my experiences and my knowledge. And in a bit of selfishness, the process of writing itself helps me reflect and learn about who I am, what I want to be, and how I can positively affect the people around me.

I try to read and learn everyday from people who are smarter than me. In regards to diet there are a few standout women who have got it figured out. And what I love most about these girls is that they all have a story to share of their journey and struggles with diet and their relationship with food. They all changed the way they thought about food.

Look them up!

These girls are my inspiration and I hope that some day soon I can get to where they are. So with that in mind and maybe a little serendipity on my side, I went home and downloaded “Naturally Thin,” read it from start to finish in matter of about 4 hours. Needless to say I was incredibly inspired to write about this book. I wish I could write about everything in it because it’s all so awesome. It’s a very easy read, there’s no fluff, and everything Frankel says is useful and proactive. So if you have ten bucks and few spare hours, stop reading this now and go get her book- I promise you its worth it.

But if you want the spark notes version and a little commentary from me… here it is:

Naturally Thin by Bethenny Frankel

Here are the things I absolutely LOVE about this book:

  1. She tells you to stop dieting… Right now…. Seriously stop.
  2. Frankel emphasizes that she is not going to tell you what to do or what to eat, because everybody is different and that would be absurd.
  3. She puts no food off limits. That’s good for me because i’m not one of those people that ‘doesn’t really like chocolate’ or ‘could live without ever eating pizza again.’ No. Let me tell you. I could eat pizza for every meal the rest of my life and be okay with it. So that fact that I have no restrictions- she’s won my heart. (Note: I’m obviously exaggerating about the pizza thing. There are obviously some limits, more on that soon)
  4. She promises that once you practice her rules consciously and consistently, that eventually they will just become natural. Hence “naturally thin”

In Part II, I will summarize her rules and talk more about why I love them.

I’m off to Nantucket this weekend to celebrate one of my closest friends birthdays! (and maybe enjoy some skinny girl margaritas!) What are you guys doing this weekend? Make healthy choices!

Happy Friday!

-L

So I survived my first 3 day perform better summit. For those of you that don’t know what that is, its a gigantic fitness and human performance conference held at the Providence convention center. All the ‘big wigs’ in the personal training world come give lectures and hands-on practicals.

Each hour of each day, we had 4 options to choose from. The topics ranged from the business side of personal training, to proper squat mechanics, to adherence and making movement fun. Brain overload to say the least. By Sunday afternoon, my brain felt similar to scramble eggs.

Dee ta Dee

1 of my lecturers suggested writing 3 things you learned each day, and at the end of the weekend to pick 3 of the 9 things to actually start using this week. So, if you’re interested, here they are!

1. Kelly Starret – Torque Matters

Kelly is a PT and owner of Crossfit San fransisco. His information wasnt necessarily new to me, but he just reminded me of how important these things really are. We mostly talked about stability in the trunk, and using torque in the hip and shoulder joints.
The first thing that hit home was how important head position is. When we lose proper head position, we lose about 20% of our strength.  Think about that. A common error when people deadlift is looking at yourself in the mirror and hyperextending your neck. You could improve your pull 20% just by keeping your neck and head in proper alignment! Again, not neccessarily news to me, but as a coach I need to sound like a broken record reminding people not to check themselves out when they deadlift.

Now if he stopped checking out his man thighs he could actually use weight! The madness!

So what can you take from this? 

Keep your head in line! It’s as simple as that. This includes everything from deadlifting, to squatting, to pullups. Your neck and body will thank you.

2. Fraser Quelch- Changing the Game

This lecture was more of a broad topic relating to obesity. We like to think that our jobs as trainers and coaches affect a lot of people. But the reality is that we don’t. Less than 1% of people in the US go to the gym 3 or more times per week. Now if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably in that 1%, and you probably find that shocking or even hard to believe. But it’s true, so what can we do?

Quelch discussed the idea of bringing “play” back into the lives of US adults. We’ve started to get the idea with things like small group training, bootcamps, Zumba classes, etc. Shit on Zumba all you want, but the best designed programs are the ones that people adhere to. I would rather have someone Zumba-ing for the rest of their lives over being a couch potato. Zumba all day.

So what can you take from this?

-Find something you enjoy doing. Most of us don’t LOVE strength training (but if you do I’m not mad about it). Make a difference in someone else’s life. If your best friend is chronically inactive, try taking them rock climbing or kayaking the next time you hang out. You never know what they might fall in love with.

-Find some friendly competition. Light a fire under someones ass (or your own for that matter).

-Here’s a thought. This might sound crazy… If you have kids; PLAY WITH THEM! When was the last time you played marco polo in the pool or flashlight tag on a warm summer night. It’s fun peeps, I promise. And your kids won’t forget. Oh and also you don’t need kids to do that stuff. Just sayin’.

3. Lee Burton- Mobility, Stability, and Motor Control

Mobility: The ability to move freely and easily

Stability: State of being stable. Not likely to change or fail

Motor Control: The ability of the neuromuscular system to perform coordinated movements and skilled actions.

Not only do we need all 3 of these components, we need them all in the right places. A theory popularized by Mike Boyle and Gray Cook is the joint-by-joint approach.

So for example, our ankles and hips need to be mobile and our knees need to be stable. Beyond that, we need to know how to use that mobility and stability control our movement. For example, a client of mine is an ex-ballerina. When I screened her deep squat it was perfect; I actually said to myself ‘I can’t wait to get her under the bar.’ But like all my beginners, I started with a goblet squat. The second I gave her any load, her knees were wobbly, and her form went to poop.  You can have all the mobility and stability in the world, but if your body doesn’t know how to use it, it doesn’t matter. 

So what can you take from this?

Well, it honestly takes a trained professional to recognize your motor control errors. But being mobile and stable in the the right places is a great start. i.e. if you have tight hips, your core might be weak, which your body then compensates with a stiff t-spine (which should be mobile, not stiff).

So…

Ankle = mobile

Knee=stable

Hips= mobile

Lumbar spine= stable

T-spine= mobile

See a pattern? I will write soon on what to actually do for these, but this post is getting lengthy.. and I’m impressed if you’re even still reading.

In Conclusion

My first perform better summit was a great experience. Learned some new things, met some cool people, and left inspired with some new tools for the tool box. If you’ve read my ‘about me,’ one of my goals for this blog was to share my knowledge and organize my thoughts. The best way to learn something is to teach it!

That’s me! Doin some med ball work.

Learn on hombres. Until next time!

-L

Length: 61 minutes

1. Alive- Kid Cudi

2. Apologize- Timbaland

3. American Girl- Tom Petty

4. Ants Marching- DMB

5. Ayo Technology- 50 cent

6. Billie Jean- Michael Jackson

7. Bouncin’ Back- Mystikal

8. Brown Eyed girl- Everclear

9. Brazil- The Venga Boys

10. Catch my Disease- Ben Lee

11. Dirt Off Your Shoulder- Jay-Z

12. Feelin’ This- Blink 182

13. Jesus Walks- Kanye West

14. Kiss Kiss- Chris Brown

15. (Another Song) All over again- Justin Timberlake