Thursday, July 24, 2014

Truths About Strength Training & Abs

At one time or another most of us wonder how to get amazing-looking abs. Here are a few truths that can help fine tune your strength training routine and give you the tools to make progress toward the abs we want to see.

Truth # 1
You can't reshape the formation of your abs.
If you have uneven rows of abdominals, this is what you will have all your life. No amount of exercise changes ab formation.

Truth # 2
You cannot build showy abs (abs that have clearly defined rows of chunky muscle) by performing a truckload of ab exercises.
Exercise, especially cardio is good, but to get abs that show, you need to eat clean. No junk food. If you try to get abs from exercise alone, you are doomed to fail.

Truth # 3 
Waist size is governed by the width of your rib cage and hip bones.
Even if you remove all the fat from your mid-section you will not obtain a wasp-like waist if your skeletal structure is such that it dictates otherwise, You can improve your abs, however, with a healthy combination of exercise and diet.

Truth #4
An overweight, pear-shaped woman who desires to make big advances in her physique must use weight training in addition to cardio.
To exercise only with cardio will merely reduce overall body weight. She will end up with a smaller version of a pear-shaped body. Weight training will do the shaping.

Few of us are totally happy with the cards that Mother Nature has dealt us. But we all do the best with what we have. You can make amazing changes in your body with the proper use of weights, cardio and clean eating. Keep up the good work!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Restaurant Menu Strategies II

In May, I posted a few strategies that can help you navigate a restaurant menu to make good choices for your body and your health. This week I will share three more fat traps to beware of when eating out.
Veggie Entrees
A vegetable entree sounds virtuous but they can also be bad news. Note the ingredients in your main dish. How much cheese is included? Is the dish fried? Chefs tend to use more oil in vegetarian dishes to make up for the missing fat in the main ingredient. Next time, stick to veggie entrees made with cauliflower, sweet potatoes or parsnips which absorb less fat than eggplant and mushrooms. Ask how the vegetables are prepared. Grilled and roasted are good. Ask if the soup is made with a vegetable-broth base or with heavy cream.

Small Plates
The plate is smaller, there is less food on it so that should equal less calories, right? When you share a bunch of tapas, it's easy to lose track of how much you've eaten. Psychologically, you don't feel full the way you do after finishing a meal off a single plate. Plus many small plate offerings are fried or drowned in oil. Next time, stick to 2 or 3 small plates per person and include protein, vegetables, and carbs. Making it a balanced meal will help you feel more satisfied.

Gluten-Free Desserts 
It is actually common for people to assume that gluten-free means healthy. In fact, gluten-free desserts (or mains) are often just as decadent - or more so - than their gluten-containing counterparts. Some chefs use more sugar or fat to offset changes in taste and texture, while others use dense nut flours, which are more caloric than the grain variety. Next time, remember that a piece of cake is a piece of cake, whether it's gluten-free or not. It's a treat that should be savored. If you are gluten sensitive, look for desserts that are naturally gluten-free such as meringue and sorbet.

Be empowered to make informed choices. Delight in the time with your friends and family. And always, Enjoy Your Food.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Stretch, Relax and Meditate

The Stretch & Meditation class was fabulous last Wednesday evening. We were able to stretch our bodies and quiet our minds while enjoying the cooling evening breeze. The music and scripture helped to center us and left us very relaxed. One participant said, next week she plans to jog over to class and then, after she is totally relaxed, stroll home while soaking in the evening and her surroundings. Such a great idea!

I just read in the paper this morning that a new study says meditation, the practice of “quieting” the mind, goes a long way in relieving stress, even when it’s done in small doses.

There are three more Wednesdays of class in July. Some openings are still available. I hope you can take advantage of the opportunity.