OMG 15 days have passed since we have welcomed 2017 and yes, It has been ages since my last post, I am well aware…since March last year to be more precise (WOWWW)…. However…However… this is not without good reason. And in this instance that reason takes the unmistakable shape of Relocation with pretty much brand new everything! Brand new location, brand new flat, brand new routines, schools for the girls, brand new community, new friendships, new neighbours and everything else you can imagine. After five years of living in our beloved Apartment in Taipa and after counting endless months (more than a handle ;)) in Macau, we upped sticks to the sticks…. well to not that far…to our dear neighbour –> Hong Kong… But more about that later, Now we focus on keep going into 2017 right, we focus on keep rolling with the Resolutions, we focus on keep going recharged, rejuvenated and absolutely ready to embrace this brand new chapter of 365 pages.
The new year is the perfect time for a clean start and a new outlook on what you want to achieve this year. Whether is boosting your endurance, getting into shape or simply make more time for yourself, consider this a chance to make your brightest dreams a reality. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the past and to challenge yourself to new begginings. This is the time to Dream Big – and start the change NOW – and you don’t need to relocate like I did.
Want to clean up your diet and choose healthy foods that will also help you to drop the unwanted kgs? Conquer the clutter; over scheduling (yep, I know!!), and other unwanted obstacles that often stand in your way? Whatever your hopes and wishes are for the coming year, use the turning of the calendar to put them into action.
It all starts with you and Don’t wait for a Monday or the 1st of the Next Month. Start Now!!!
If you are new to fitness or coming back after a long layoff – it happens to all of us – turn to my special “Beginners Fitness guide for Women” which includes comprehensive workouts and an easy and affordable diet plan that you can follow. You will also find easy and yummy pre-post/post-workout snacks in our recipe menu and don’t forget to share/tag your New-Year New-You goals and accomplishments with our brand new #thebodybymari on Instagram.
Happy and Healthy New Year Everyone
Get a Glow People!!!
It’s time tp get your blood circulating and boost your body for Spring with this revitalising posture
Forward Bend or Uttanasana with Clasped hands
How to do it:
- Stand with your legs wide and toes turned in
- Interlace your hands behind your back with arms straight.
- Exhale: bend forward from your hip joints and lengthen through the front of your torso
- With straight knees, bring your hands towards the floor behind your back, while pressing your heels firmly onto the floor.
- With each inhalation in the pose, lift and lengthen the front of your torso just slightly; and with each exhalation release a little more fully into the forward bend.
- Let your head hang from the root of your neck and stay in the pose for 30 sec to 1 minute.
- Take a deep breath before bringing your hands back onto your hips and pressing your tailbone down and into the pelvis.
- Stand up very slowly. Vertebrae by vertebrae. Head should be the last – to avoid dizziness
- Repeat at least 4 times.
This is one of my fav. postures. This calming posture helps lengthen hamstrings, calves, gluten and spine and strengthens your inner legs and knees. It stimulates blood flow and digestion and reduces fatigue.
Like the prayer hands variation, this pose is going to help you open up all the muscles in your shoulders, as well as creating openness and space in your chest. I love this pose because it also works to open up the biceps and forearms—muscles we tend to forget about when we are stretching.
My Fitness Obsession uncovered!!!
Circuit training is basically a combination of resistance training alongside high intensity aerobic work. The aim is to move between one exercise to the next – often referred to as “stations” – with little or no rest in between. At the end of all the exercises within the circuit you would take a short rest and then start again from the beginning. Circuits are often made up of around 8-12 exercises spending around 40 seconds-1 minute on each one and the entire circuit would normally be completed 3 times through although this can be changed to suit the individuals needs and fitness levels. Below are my top 6 reasons for including circuit training into your routine.
I was first introduced to this kind of training a few years ago…maybe 3 or 4 years ago. But couldn’t really put a name in it until Circuit training became a hit. I just knew i felt great after it and wanted to keep going with it. Last year..around this time.. hubby pushed a few videos in youtube and we would challenge each other in our living room…(yesss every other day we turn our living room into a yoga room or into a gym class room with the appropriate props and music..for 90min we work our asses out…If Girls are not sleeping, they are cheering for us super excited ). From there, i have watched a few circuit training sequences for women and i got immediately hooked with it. Gossip it works so well for me.
It was not before our trip to Mauritius (May 2015), where i got my first ever, PT – Boot Camp sessions that i got this freaky bug going on…Since then…every trip i make, is not about cardio apparels at the gym anymore but my own fitness routines, alternating with yoga…
I love it and works very well for me and my Body. There is definitely NO EXCUSE!!!You can do anywhere at Any given Time…just paired with the right Diet for you and you are ready to rock that health forever!!!
I start the training with a Dynamic Warm-Up for maybe 10-15 minutes.
Around 10 years ago, dynamic warm-ups started gaining popularity in the sports world as an effective method for athletes to prep before an event. Today, dynamic warm-ups are a standard routine for athletes ranging from amateurs to professionals.
A dynamic warm-up uses stretches that are “dynamic,” meaning you are moving as you stretch.
Dynamic stretching is ideal as the core of a warm-up routine for several reasons:
1.It activates muscles you will use during your workout. For example, a lunge with a twist is a dynamic stretching exercise that engages your hips, legs, and core muscles. Whether you are doing weighted lunges in the gym, the muscles involved have already been engaged during your warm-up.
2. Dynamic stretching improves range of motion . So if you feel like you can barely bend over to tie your shoes after a long day at work, a dynamic warm-up routine can help you feel more limber.
3. Dynamic stretches improve body awareness. If you don’t warm-up, it may take a while for your body to perform optimally. Moving as you stretch challenges your balance and coordination; skills that could help your performance.
4. Warming up in motion enhances muscular performance and power. Studies reveal dynamic stretching before a workout can help you lift more weight and increase overall athletic performance compared to no stretching or static stretching . If you are trying to get stronger, build more muscle, or simply perform better, a dynamic warm-up routine is likely your best bet.
1: It does not take long.
Many people still feel that they need to be in the gym for at least an hour especially if they are doing cardio and resistance training alongside each other, 20-30 minutes of aerobic training and then at least the same amount of time doing weights. Because circuit training combines the 2 together and is performed with little or no rest, you can complete an effective session in as little as 30 minutes including warm up and cool down.
2: You do not need much equipment.
You can have a very effective training session using minimal kit and even with just your own body weight. This means you can do it at home or at the gym during peak time when a lot of the equipment will be taken.
3: It can help to keep you interested.
When it comes to cardio training many people will spend 30 minutes or so plodding away on a piece of equipment such as the cycle or cross-trainer for example. After a few weeks of doing this boredom can easily set in which is one of the main reasons people give up the gym/exercise (also this form of exercise is not always the best way to reduce body fat but that’s for another post!). With circuit training you are continuously changing exercises and only spending a minute or so on each one. You can also mix up your circuit from session to session by simply changing the order of exercises or using different exercises altogether.
4: It works everything.
Within a circuit session not only are you going to get your heart and lungs really working but with the right exercise selection you can work all your major muscle groups.
5: It is effective.
From teaching endless number of circuit classes and using circuit training within my personal training sessions and my own workouts I have seen first hand how effective this form of training is especially for stripping away body fat and improving muscle definition. By mixing cardio and resistance training together it means you will keep your heart rate elevated throughout the session. So while you are doing a resistance exercise your body is still burning away the fat.
6: It is suitable for all fitness levels.
You can tailor circuit training to any fitness level by simply changing some of the variables such as exercise selection, time or reps per exercise and changing the length of the rest periods.
Just in time for your get-healthy, be-stronger, love-your-body resolutions, our Shape Slim Down Challenge has everything you need. Join us for this exclusive 30-day diet and workout challenge that will give you lasting results.
We want you to feel better than ever this year, and this Slim Down workout-and-eating plan can help you get there. You’ll repeat each exercise weekly, adding reps as you go along. Combine these mega moves with our healthy eating tips that challenge you to make small changes throughout the month, and you’ll be svelte and slim right on schedule for Valentine’s Day!!!
Start on the floor in a palm plank. Push into palms to explode body off floor (feet stay planted), clapping hands if possible. Land in start position with elbows soft. Repeat.
Run in place, pulling your knees toward your chest and vigorously pumping bent arms.
Speed Skater Lunge
Standing, jump right foot to right, bending left leg and crossing it behind right to land in a deep lunge with right leg bent 90 degrees and on ball of left foot, leg slightly bent (keep butt as low as possible). Reach left arm across body to touch floor in front of right toes (to make it easier, touch right shin or just reach right). Switch sides; repeat. Continue quickly alternating sides.
Standing, lunge forward with left foot, bending knees 90 degrees. Jump as high as you can, swinging arms overhead and switching legs in air. Land with arms by sides and right foot forward, immediately bending knees. Continue quickly alternating sides.
Lie faceup on floor with knees bent over hips and arms extended up with palms facing each other to start. Roll upper body up and extend legs until you’re sitting, body forming a V shape with arms parallel to legs. Pause, then slowly roll upper body back down, one vertebra at a time, keeping legs in the air. When your shoulders reach the mat, return to start position. Repeat. Continue slowly.
Standing, drop into a squat, bringing fists in front of chest with elbows bent at sides. Jump feet wide, straightening legs and swinging arms out to sides and up to meet overhead. Continue quickly.
From standing, crouch and plant palms on floor. Jump feet back to plank (keep abs tight), then lower chest and thighs to floor. Press up to plank, then jump feet toward hands. Lastly, jump as high as you can (make sure feet are under shoulders before you launch), clapping hands overhead. Continue quickly.
Slim Down Your Diet
You can’t have one without the other—to see serious success this month, complete the fitness challenges simultaneously with these tips to get your diet it tip-top shape.
Day 1: Lose the Blame
Losing weight isn’t about blame or shame. So cast those feelings aside right away. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself—that only makes it harder.
Day 2: Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Goal setting is crucial to any achievement, but when it comes to weight loss you want to focus on making large goals (and mini ones within that) specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-based.
Day 3: Ditch Added Sugar
Sugar is lurking in unsuspecting places—think juices and dressings, and many people are already consuming way too much. All that extra sweetness adds up to an increased risk for heart disease—say goodbye!
Day 4: Avoid Refined Carbs
Nutritionists suggest being a little stricter with your diet in the beginning, but the truth is, refined carbs are diet disasters you’ll be happy you ditched. These quick-digesting carbs offer none of the fiber and nutrients you’d get from their unrefined cousins, and can cause blood sugar spikes and belly bloat.
Day 5: Put Down the Drink
Don’t freak out! You can slowly incorporate a glass of wine back into your diet here and there, but if you’re serious about results, it’s important to cut out alcohol completely for now—it can wreck your fitness goals.
Day 6: Plan One Indulgence
By planning ahead for your treat or snack of choice each week, you’ll be less likely to overindulge or binge.
Day 7: Allow Spontaneous Indulgence
Cravings happen, and while you shouldn’t give in to every one, you can cut yourself some slack to give in to temptation once a week (within reason of course).
Day 8: Keep Grains in Check
It can be tempting to fill up on whole grains because hey, they’re good for you, but there is something called too much of a good thing. Calories are calories no matter how you serve them. Limit whole-grains to three servings a day.
Day 9: Eat Only When Hungry
Sounds pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how often you mindlessly munch just because you’re bored, stressed, or for no reason at all. Ask yourself if you’re actually hungry next time you reach for the bag of pretzels.
Day 10: Go for a Walk
Speaking of eating out of sheer boredom—any well-intentioned diet’s worst enemy—when you start to feel antsy and temptation sets in, head outside and take a walk around the neighborhood instead.
Day 11: Never Skip Breakfast
Start your morning with a high-protein, high-fiber breakfast. Eating a substantial meal (or at least a balanced one) will set you up for more control and limit overindulging throughout the day.
Day 12: Say No to Junk Food
Even the strongest of willpowers are no match for the greasy junk food black hole. Studies show that junk food has an addictive quality that leaves you constantly wanting more…and more.
Day 13: NOP to Processed Foods
Processed food, which is often high in saturated fat and refined starch or sugar can cause inflammation that disrupts hormones responsible for telling your brain you’re full. A.k.a., you’ll eat a lot more.
Day 14: Shop for Whole Foods
You’re wiping your diet slate clean of junk and processed foods, so fill the void with clean whole foods. Think veggies, fruit, lean protein, and healthy fats. Spend most of your time around the periphery of the grocery store where fresh produce and dairy is shelved.
Day 15: Meal Prep
Whether it’s knowing what’s on the menu from breakfast through dinner or actual prep work like cutting, chopping, and packing meals—planning ahead is your secret to success. You’ll be much less likely to make a pit stop at the vending machine or grab a burrito for lunch.
Day 16: Reorganize Your Pantry/Fridge
Don’t “store” food on the counter—put cereal boxes away and keep bread out of immediate sight. Experts say you’ll eat what you see. On the other hand, healthy snacks and fresh fruits should be kept at eye level or in plain view so they’re convenient to grab.
Day 17: Keep a Food Journal
Jotting down exactly what you eat each day has long-been known to have eye-opening effects on food decisions. It’s a great way to identify nutritional holes in your diet, as well as noticing a late-night snack session that’s setting you back from reaching your goal.
Day 18: Ramp Up Protein Intake
If you’re feeling sluggish or aren’t seeing the results you’d hoped for, take a look back at your food journal. You may be falling short in the protein department. Incorporate more lean meats like turkey and chicken as well as tofu, legumes, and leafy greens.
Day 19: Put Veggies or Fruit on Every Plate
Lacking in the produce department? Make room for veggies at every single meal—in scrambled eggs, on a sandwich, as a side dish or main course. Research says the more fruits or veggies make an appearance on your plate, the fewer calories you’ll consume overall.
Day 20: Know Your Healthy Fats
It wouldn’t be called a well-balanced diet without some healthy fats, but the key word here is healthy. Fats from olive oil, avocados, and nuts will fill you up and give you the biggest bang for your nutritional buck.
Day 21: Keep Portions in Check
You know just the right size for a grilled chicken breast, but what about less obvious items? Extra calories from salad dressings, for example, can quickly add up, so instead of thoughtlessly pouring dressing on a bed of greens, portion 1-2 tbsp. in a small bowl first.
Day 22: Track Total Calories
While it’s important to know that everyone’s required calories for weight maintenance and weight loss are different, one thing that’s true across the board if you want to drop pounds: calorie expenditure should exceed calorie intake. Around 1,500 calories a day is an average sweet spot for weight loss.
Day 23: Eat at the Table
Experts say you can easily underestimate daily calories due to forgotten snacks or meals you ate while standing. So even if you don’t have long, take a seat at the table and have a real meal—we promise you’ll enjoy your food so much more.
Day 24: Eliminate Distractions
According to research, eating when you’re distracted results in consuming a significant number of extra calories a day. Turn off the TV and leave the smartphones on silent in the other room.
Day 25: Slow Down
Research found that women who ate lunch more attentively consumed 30 percent less when they snacked later. Tricks to keep in mind: Smell your food. Chew it slowly. Don’t put another bite on your fork until you swallow.
Day 26: Downsize Your Dinnerware
Swap serving spoons for the regular size, and research says you’ll dish out about 15 percent less. Trimming the size of your plate also helps keep portions in check—plus the same amount of food looks larger on a smaller plate.
Day 27: Bust Out the Scale
The scale doesn’t have to be scary. Weighing in every day has been shown to help people lose more weight, and keep it off long term. Aim to step on the scale at the same time each day for the most accurate results.
Day 28: Reduce Sodium
Frustrated because you still seem squished in your skinny jeans? Salt could be to blame. Sodium is bloat’s BFF, and can cause the scale to fluctuate unfairly due to water retention. Cut back, and be aware of the less obvious salt-traps like cereal and salad dressings.
Day 29: Sleep 7+ Hours
Logging less than the recommended seven hours of ZZZs can not only make you irritable and groggy, but lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your weight loss goals. Hormones that control hunger skyrocket, and those that tell the brain your full are suppressed. Double whammy!
Day 30: Cut 100 Calories
In the beginning, you felt lighter and the scale agreed, but now you’re standing stagnant—what gives? Battle the dreaded plateau by cutting an extra 100 calories or so a day—now that you’ve lost some weight, your body simply doesn’t need as much fuel.
Cheers to a Healthier, Fitter and Brand New you!!!There is absolutely no excuse..
We ar 8 days into the New Year Guys! 1 week + 1 day into 2016!!!!
How do you feel?How’s your energy?How’s your motivation?How’s your new Year plans and projects?
I hope you feel as excited and as happy as I am…I can’t simply wait to see what 2016 has in store for me (i know it will be BUSY), my loved ones and for you!!I’m so happy to be posting New year wishes and resolutions here in Lifestyle in Shavasana for 3 years now?!?Wow!!What a great Motivation!!!Thanks Guys!!
New Year’s Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It’s a time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes and each January, roughly one in three of us (including myself) resolve to better themselves in some way. A much smaller percentage of people actually make good on those resolutions. While about 75% of people stick to their goals for at least a week, less than half (46%) are still on target six months later.
It’s hard to keep up the enthusiasm months after you’ve swept up the confetti, but it’s not impossible.
I thought I’d start the new year with a blog post about the whole new year, new you thing because it’s a great time to adopt a new routine because a new year is, after all, considered a fresh start by many people – it took me 8 days to post it, even though it was written for 4 days already.
This post is to help you prepare for the year ahead so you can start the year working towards your health and fitness goals since these are the top 5 New Years Resolutions – every year – with a plan that’s sustainable – so you will be more likely to get past the end of January and still keep up the great exercise and healthy eating lifestyle.
It’s easy to think of new year, new you meaning that you need to jump in at the deep end and start hitting the gym five times a week while removing all refined sugars and processed foods from your diet forever. The usual thought is that you have to completely change your lifestyle and while it would be amazing if you could do that and stick with it, for many it’s just changing way too much in one go.
It’s likely you’ll find it easier to adjust to if you make small gradual changes instead; the reason most of us run screaming back to our old habits after a few weeks (or days) is because we tried to change too much at once.
The more you change the more you’re going to miss.
Make small changes gradually instead.
Try making small changes one step at a time – start by going to the gym (or doing whatever exercise you plan) two or three times a week, aiming to gradually increase it over time to about 30 minutes five times a week. Oh, and I can’t stress this enough…find an exercise that you enjoy doing. It doesn’t have to be running or the gym, it could be anything that keeps you active. You’ll be far more likely to stick with it if you enjoy the workout, so try a few different things and see what you like. Mix it up.
If you want to improve your healthy eating then aim to eat generally clean food. If you’re able to clean up your diet completely straight away then that’s amazing! If, however, this is the part you struggle with, take it one step at a time and aim to gradually eat less processed foods and sugary treats, choosing to eat clean instead.
It may not seem like much of an improvement (for example, when you first start) but if your diet consisted of mostly processed foods and sugary treats then it’s actually a huge improvement to even get used to 65/35 to begin with…this means eating clean food 65% of the time and treats 35%.
Take your time and allow yourself to feel comfortable before eventually working your way up to 80/20, (or 90/10 if you want) so you’re eventually eating mostly clean food (I eat 80% clean and 20% treats).
Adopting a generally healthier lifestyle doesn’t mean that you’re on a diet; it doesn’t mean that you need to strictly eat only pre-approved foods and it certainly doesn’t mean you’ve failed if you eat something that contains sugar.
The best way to approach the ‘new you’ isn’t to find the latest fad diet and attempt to survive solely on soup or smoothies, it’s to aim to make generally healthier choices. The hardest part of this process is learning to rid yourself of that horrible guilt when you eat a chocolate bar, but once you change your way of thinking and accept there is no wagon; it’s just a generally healthier lifestyle, you’ll wish you’d made that change years ago.
Make being healthy your main goal and, trust me, you’ll soon notice improvements.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask for my advice.
Here’s to a Happy and Healthy New Year!
The way you start each day is incredibly important.
According to Ayurvedic philosophy, choices that you make regarding your daily routine either build up resistance to disease or tear it down.
Whether you’re a mom, a dad, a coach, a writer, an artist, a chef, a small business owner or a yoga teacher, what you do first thing in the morning matters.
Ayurveda invites us to get a jump-start on the day by focusing on morning rituals that work to align the body with nature’s rhythms, balance the doshas & foster self-esteem alongside self-discipline.
Your mind may say you have to check emails, take the dog out, get the kids out the door, that you can’t be late for work or that you just don’t have enough time to cultivate your own morning rituals.
But, if you can only make time for one ritual that will improve your health, let it be this…..
Start the day out with a mug of warm water and the juice of half a lemon (ginger and chia seeds is optional).
It’s so simple and the benefits are just too good to ignore. Warm water with lemon…Why?? you may ask. Read below:
1. Boosts you’re immune system
Lemons are high in Vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C is great for fighting colds and potassium stimulates brain & nerve function and helps control blood pressure.
2. Balances pH
Lemons are an incredibly alkaline food, believe it or not. Yes, they are acidic on their own, but inside our bodies they’re alkaline (the citric acid does not create acidity in the body once metabolized). As you wellness warriors know, an alkaline body is really the key to good health.
3. Helps with weight loss
Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings. It also has been shown that people who maintain a more alkaline diet lose weight faster. And, my experience is that when I start the day off right, it’s easier to make the best choices for myself the rest of the day.
4. Aids digestion
The warm water serves to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis—the waves of muscle contractions within the intestinal walls that keep things moving. Lemons and limes are also high in minerals and vitamins and help loosen toxins, in the digestive tract.
Think about this… during sleep, you typically haven’t been drinking for at least 8 hours. Giving the body adequate water when you first wake up is a great way to get your body and your mind going.
5. Acts as a gentle, natural diuretic
Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body. Toxins are, therefore, released at a faster rate which helps keep your urinary tract healthy.
6. Clears skin
The vitamin C helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes. Lemon water purges toxins from the blood which helps keep skin clear as well.
7. Hydrates the lymph system
This cup of goodness helps start the day on a hydrated note, which helps prevent dehydration (obviously) and adrenal fatigue. When your body is dehydrated, or deeply dehydrated (adrenal fatigue) it can’t perform all of it’s proper functions, which leads to toxic buildup, stress, constipation, and the list goes on. Your adrenals happen to be two small glands that sit on top of your kidneys, and along with your thyroid, create energy. They also secrete important hormones, including aldosterone. Aldosterone is a hormone secreted by your adrenals that regulates water levels and the concentration of minerals, like sodium, in your body, helping you stay hydrated. Your adrenals are also responsible for regulating your stress response. So, the bottom line is that you really don’t want to mess with a deep state of dehydration!
It is always important to support our bodies by drinking enough water, especially in the morning. Lemon water won’t be a miracle cure but it might be a better alternative to caffeinated drinks, especially for those with adrenal problems.
I’ve found that starting to drink water first thing in the morning when you aren’t used to it can cause a few minutes of nausea, so it might be a good idea to start slowly and not used to drinking this much.
Adopting just this one practice of drinking a cup of warm water with lemon in the morning for a month can radically alter your experience of the day. Don’t be surprised if you begin to view mornings in a new light.Remember, real change comes from taking action.
Even if you haven’t been indulging in rich, comforting meals all winter, chances are you’ve accumulated more unhealthy foods in your freezer, fridge and cupboard than you realize. To start off the new season on the right foot, a little spring cleaning for your food supply might be in order.
That’s what i have done today:
Declutter Your Freezer
If you throw foods in the freezer and forget about them, it’s time to clear out the old build up. Get rid of all the items with ice crystals forming on the food or the packaging. Anything with freezer burn will taste worse, but it also often means that the nutrients are lost from foods, especially produce.
Keep some uncooked protein, like lean beef and chicken; it’s good for up to nine months once frozen, and can help you skip a midweek trip to the grocery store. Fill the rest of your freezer with bags of frozen berries and peaches (to throw in smoothies, yogurt and hot cereals) and vegetables like peas, spinach and broccoli (to add to soups and increase the nutrition of takeout dishes). Want to keep a few microwavable meals on hand for times you need a quick fix? Look for options with fewer than 400 calories and 400 mg of sodium.
Lighten Up Your Fridge
Even with tons of frozen fruits and veggies in your freezer, you’ll want some fresh varieties as well. Aim for foods that will keep for several days in the fridge, such as apples, oranges, cauliflower and cabbage. Don’t cut up anything or wash produce when you bring it home from the store. To make these items more convenient for packed lunches or snacks, prep them only the night before you’ll be consuming them.
Swap out creamy condiments like salad dressings, mayo and sour cream for mustards, Greek yogurt or olive oil with balsamic vinegar or lemon juice. And always have a carton of eggs for quick-cooking protein that goes well with any meal or snack.
Clean Your Cupboard
There’s more to junk food than potato chips. Toss items packed with sugar, sodium and preservatives, such as pretzels and most granola bars and energy bars.
Trade in high-sugar cereals — and keep in mind that even healthy-seeming choices like granola and gluten-free options can fall into this category — for oatmeal flavored with cinnamon and fruit. Load up on whole grains like quinoa, brown rice and wheat pasta; low-sodium beans for a punch of protein and fiber; and cans of fatty fish like tuna, sardines and salmon to get those omega-3s.
Put Everything In Its Place
To ensure your healthy habits stick, it’s important to put some thought intothe way you store your foods. From the pantry to the fridge, place the nutrient-dense items at eye level, front and center, and put any treats in the back and make sure that everything is in the correct place to stay at its peak freshness.
Stocking your kitchen with nutritious choices is the first step to healthy eating — and arranging your storage areas in a way that encourages you to reach for them ensures the kickoff to a slim new season.
Same goes for Sienna’s foods. All her yogurts, smoothies, fruits, veggies and juices are at her eye level, so she can see and ask to have those as soon as we open the refrigerator. Like this she won’t be tempted to ask us something that she shouldn’t be eating.
Hello, fountain of youth! Stay young with these amazing, completely natural age erasers that boost brain power, stop stress, and smooth skin!!
Getting older — without being doomed to wrinkle-dom and jiggly thighs — does not require a high-priced trainer and a bucket o’ Botox. We swear it. We know it. Stay young, look and feel everyday fabulous, by doing everyday smart things:
- eat healthy,
Give yourself a break
Recent studies show that stress causes physical changes in the body that can accelerate aging. Surges of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol cause blood pressure to rise and the heart to beat faster. These days, when our stressors seem unrelenting (a steady stream of job pressures, traffic jams, money problems), chronic doses of adrenaline and cortisol take a heavy toll on our physical and emotional health. “Sixty to 90 percent of all doctors’ visits each year are related to anxiety, depression, obsessive anger and hostility, insomnia, high blood pressure, heart attacks — all problems caused by stress.
The most effective way to halt this destructive chain of events is to meditate. The technique involves repeating a mantra — a word, sound, phrase, or prayer — for as little as 10 minutes a day. A 2005 study conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston showed that meditation helped prevent age-related changes in the brain.
Try it! How? Once or twice daily, for 10 to 20 minutes (yes, you do have the time — you just have to make it), sit in a quiet place, close your eyes, relax your muscles, roll your head, neck, and shoulders, and breathe deeply. On each exhale, repeat your mantra. If other thoughts try to invade, tell yourself, “Oh, well,” and return to your word or phrase. When you’re done, keep your eyes closed for an extra minute; slowly allow everyday thoughts to flow back into your mind. Still not into the idea of meditation? Do yoga, or something active and repetitive, like running, instead. Focus on your breathing and how your feet land with each stride. Get your to-do list out of your head.
Consume more fat
The healthy kind, that is. Omega-3 fatty acids (found in salmon, walnuts, and seeds) help stabilize your mood, maintain bone strength, and help prevent visible signs of aging by reducing inflammation in the body. Omega-3s also boost the ability of the body’s enzymes to pull fat out of storage — from your hips, say — and use it as energy. Omega-3s keep you healthy and your skin radiant.
Try it! You need two grams of omega-3 fatty acids a day. Eat plenty of fatty fish such as wild salmon (a 3-ounce serving has 6.9 grams), as well as walnuts (one-half ounce has 9.2 grams). If you aren’t getting enough omega-3s from your diet, consider taking fish-oil supplements.
Get off the couch
Not only does regular exercise help you lose weight, tone muscles, build healthier bones, and boost mood, it can also help you think clearly. Studies cited by the National Institute on Aging demonstrate a connection between physical exercise and better brain power. “Walking for just 10 minutes a day lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s by 40 percent,” says Gary Small, MD, director of the UCLA Center on Aging and coauthor of The Healthy Brain Kit. “Physical conditioning reduces stress and anxiety, which wipe out your memory bank.”
Try it! Make time for three 20-minute workouts a week. Run, bike, swim, dance — do whatever you enjoy most.
Feel the love
Anyone who’s ever fallen head over heels or discovered an activity that makes them eager to jump out of bed in the morning knows that passion is a powerful drug. It’s the central motivation of all human activity. The ability to embrace life boosts self-esteem, fuels the immune system, and improves cardiovascular health. Passion in bed can be particularly beneficial: “Loving touches release hormones, including oxytocin, that reduce stress and anxiety,” says Mehmet Oz, MD, professor of surgery and vice chairman of cardiovascular services at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University, as well as the coauthor of You on a Diet. “If sex is a purely hedonistic process, it won’t have the same results.”
Try it! Banish boredom and isolation at all costs. Rekindle the flames with your partner. Or discover a new love in the form of a mental or physical pursuit: Take up painting, join a book club, start a running program. Do whatever it is that makes you feel energized and alive.
Drink red wine
Last fall, a groundbreaking study showed that mice on a high-fat diet supplemented with resveratrol, a substance found in the skin of grapes, had longer average lifespans than those not given the resveratrol. According to the study’s co-lead researcher Rafael de Cabo, PhD, of the National Institute on Aging, resveratrol clearly reduced the risk of diabetes and liver problems in mice, leading to a significant decline in obesity-related deaths. But here’s the catch: “You’d have to drink 180 bottles of red wine a day to get the same benefits,” says Dr. Roizen.
Researchers are working now to improve the potency of resveratrol in order to develop a pill that contains the optimum amount of the substance. In the meantime, there’s plenty of evidence that a little red wine can offset a host of health problems. A new animal study from Johns Hopkins University suggested that red wine can diminish brain damage caused by stroke by as much as 40 percent. And research released last year showed that grape-seed procyanidins, found in red wine, helps reduce arterial clogging, resulting in lower blood-cholesterol levels and a reduction in deaths from heart disease.
Try it! Until an optimally potent resveratrol pill is available, enjoy red wine, but it’s best to follow the latest alcohol guidelines from the American Medical Association and drink no more than one glass (5 ounces) a day for your health.
More energy, better posture, greater flexibility, improved mood, and less stress are just some of the rewards of this mind-body workout. Yoga means ‘union’ in Sanskrit. Through conscious yoga breathing, you become aware of the connection between mind and body. That translates into major anti-aging advantages. Yogic breathing has been shown to oxygenate the cells, ridding them of toxins, helping prevent illness, and making skin radiant. Unlike other exercises, yoga poses are designed to work the inside of your body as well as the outside, which helps rejuvenate the digestive system, the reproductive system, even the immune system. Yoga is like wringing your body out like a washcloth. It’s one of the best ways to keep things moving.
Try it! Practice yoga or other mind-body activities at least twice a week to give yourself an energy boost, help build bone mass, and de-stress. I will resume teaching in February 2015. Start booking today!
Bite into a Superfruit
There’s a good reason we’re hearing so much about pomegranates these days. They are more beneficial than other fruits. Pomegranate juice has been found to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, possibly delay the onset of atherosclerosis, and potentially help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease; researchers believe it may also help prevent some forms of cancer from starting or progressing. Pomegranates can also protect the skin from damage caused by UV rays, according to a study published last March.
Another promising anti-ager is the goji berry, a fruit native to Tibet that boasts 500 times more vitamin C by weight than an orange and is considered to be the most abundant source of carotenoids, a type of antioxidant, on earth. This little nutritional powerhouse — which tastes like a denser, sweeter cranberry — also contains more iron than spinach, 18 amino acids, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and vitamins B1, B2, B6 and E, according to Dr. Perricone. The goji berry stimulates the release of human growth hormone, a natural substance in the body that improves our ability to sleep, helps us look younger, reduces fat, improves memory, boosts libido, and enhances the immune system.
Try it! Snack on a handful of dried goji berries throughout the day. Be sure to buy ones from Tibet, because they have high serum levels. In addition, drink pomegranate juice. Not a fan of the flavor? Buy it in concentrate and add a tablespoonful daily to kefir (or plain yogurt). For dewy skin, try Rodial’s Wrinkle Smoother, a pomegranate-infused anti-aging serum with marine extracts and vitamin C created to plump wrinkles, block sun and give a youthful glow.
Sip green tea
The health buzz about this brew keeps getting stronger: Last year, green tea was found to reduce the risk of breast cancer and prevent remissions, and now it’s being tested as a way to help prevent bladder, colorectal, and lung cancer recurrence. “Green tea is an amazing compound in terms of blocking the signaling network that is linked with the progression of cancer,” says Amy Yee, PhD, a professor of biochemistry at Tufts University and principal investigator of the cancer study. It’s also an effective weight-management agent because it appears to rev up metabolism. Preliminary research indicates that green tea may even help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. A Japanese study published last year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking at least one cup a day can help keep your brain sharp as you get older.
Try it! Sip two or three cups daily for the ultimate health benefits.
Slather your skin with supplements
Retinol, a type of vitamin A (and a nonprescription, weaker-strength relative of Retin-A), is considered the most effective over-the-counter treatment to smooth the skin and prevent wrinkles. Retinols cause the skin to gently peel, revealing a silkier, rosier, and more supple layer. Dr. Perricone touts the benefits of alpha lipoic acid, a potent antioxidant that naturally occurs in the body. “Alpha lipoic acid is a wonderful anti-aging mechanism,” he says. It has been shown to reduce fine lines, improve skin texture, tighten pores, and give skin a general radiance.
Another powerful age-defying ingredient is madecassol, or madecassoside, an Asian plant extract that helps plump the skin, minimize fine lines, and restore a youthful glow. Madecassol has been used in France for decades to help heal scars and wounds. European studies have also found that it helps diminish wrinkles, restores firmness to skin, and hydrates skin cells.
Try it! Look for skin creams containing retinols or try products containing alpha lipoic acid.
Another good way to ensure cell turnover, protect your skin against free radicals, and stimulate collagen growth is to apply vitamin C serum under your moisturizer and makeup. Finally, be sure to use a broad-spectrum sunblock every day to protect against UVA and UVB rays, which cause aging and skin cancer.
Do mental aerobics
Brain exercises can prevent cognitive decline, and the benefits can last for as many as five years. A research has found that a two-week program of mental training can actually rewire the brain.
Try it! Strengthen your mind every day by doing crossword puzzles, Sudoku, or Brain Games, a handheld electronic game developed by Dr. Small that uses numbers, sequences, and word play to condition the left and right spheres of the brain.
No more excuses !!