Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fit Tip Tuesday - Lift Weights!

Muscle is the quickest way to a hot, healthy body!

Most people believe that if you want to burn a ton of fat, you should do lots of cardio. However, resistance training is the best way to get rid of the fat - better than dieting alone or even dieting and cardio together.

Research shows that people who diet but don't exercise lose 69% of their fat; people who diet and do cardio lose 78% of their fat; and those who diet, do cardio, and lift weights burn 97% of their fat!

Lifting weights not only helps you lose weight, but you will completely change your body shape for the better. You'll tighten up those thighs, lose the flabby arms, and squishy bellies. Your skin will appear firmer, and your bones will become stronger!

The more lean muscle you have on your body, the more your metabolism rises. One pound of muscle requires 50-100 calories per day just to maintain it! Sweet!

Strength training also lowers blood pressure and can protect your heart and help ward off type 2 diabetes. Strength training is one of the best ways to prevent bone loss!

Your overall strength will improve also. Lifting and carrying things won't be as difficult, either.

You will have a lower chance of injury in sports and other activities when you strengthen your muscles. Strengthening your muscles also improves balance and keeps you as strong as possible which lowers your chances of a fall-related fracture.

Another benefit to lifting heavier weights is that you'll see greater overall muscle definition. When you lift such a light weight as most women do (those little pink dumbells), the muscles are barely challenged.

Push yourself harder and take the weight up to the next level - that's when you see muscle definition and form improve. Provided you also follow a proper diet for fat loss, heavy weights will create the greatest change to how your body looks.

So many women think that lifting heavy will make them "bulk up".

Do not fear heavy weights any longer. What you should fear is being old and weak. What you should fear is wasting more time doing only cardio and not getting where you want to go. Push your body - you are stronger than you think!

I thought this was funny! :)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Fuel Your Body Friday - Shakeology Bars

If you are looking for a delicious treat with lots of fiber and healthy fats, then these bars are for you!!  I love to keep them in the freezer so they are nice and cold. I just have a little square when I want a treat and absolutely no guilt!

(I only made 1/2 the recipe to see if I liked it first)
2 cups rolled oats
3 scoops chocolate Shakeology
1 TBS ground flaxseeds
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup hot water

Knead all ingredients together in a large bowl. Line a small pan with plastic wrap. 
Spread dough into pan, and press flat and evenly.
Drizzle a little melted peanut butter over the top, optional.
Freeze for 30 minutes, then cut into bars. 
Store in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fit Tip Tuesday - Eat Often

Eating small, frequent meals - every 2 1/2 - 3 hours - is by far the most effective way to speed up your metabolism.

Eating a properly constructed meal every few hours is also the only way to effectively build and maintain muscle.  The longer you consistently eat this way, the more muscle you'll develop.  The more muscle you develop, the faster your metabolism will become.

Here are some reasons why eating small, frequent meals is so important:

1)  It takes the body about 3 hours to digest each meal.

2)  Protein lasts about 3 hours in the bloodstream.

3)  Frequent eating speeds up the metabolism.

4)  Eating more often stabilizes blood sugar.

5)  Frequent meals prevent binges and control cravings.

6)  Promotes better utilization of nutrients.

7)  Reduces fat storage through portion control. (The body can't handle mega-sized meals and will store the remaining calories as fat.)


Friday, May 17, 2013

Fuel Your Body Friday - Pink Lemonade Shakeology

Just in time for summer - a yummy pink lemonade that is loaded with superfoods!
Okay, so I have to warn you - this drink was SOUR!!  I had to put about 4 packets of Stevia in it just to be able to drink it!  So, I adjusted the recipe a little, and hopefully it won't be as sour. :)

2 cups water mixed with 1 Crystal Light lemonade pkt
1/2 cup raspberries
1 scoop Tropical Strawberry Shakeology
Stevia, optional

Mix all together in blender and enjoy!! :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

30 Day Slimdown

There is still time to lose that last bit of weight in time for summer!
On June 3rd I will be kicking off a 30 Day Shakeology and Clean Eating Challenge group.  This group will run for just that - 30 days!  It is a closed online support group where I will help you develop reachable health and fitness goals for yourself.  We will start out with a week of planning and preparation.  We will discuss using food as fuel, pairing lean proteins with complex carbs to give you energy all day long and you will learn how to make healthy eating a lifestyle and not a crash diet!

The point of this program is to teach you how to tighten up your diet so that you can break a weight loss plateau, trim any excess fat and look your best in 30 days.

As a part of this group, we will incorporate Shakeology.  Shakeology is an AMAZING all-natural meal replacement shake.  You replace 1 meal a day with Shakeology and you can expect to have a controlled meal that gives you the right amount of protein and carbs and is packed with over 70 super foods to give you energy, control your cravings, help you lose weight and boost your immune system!!

It's only a 30 day commitment and there is a money back guarantee.  I promise you will be changed forever!!

What does the challenge entail?
1.  You must be a member of my Teambeachbody Site.  You can sign up for a free account by going to http://www.teambeachbody.com/bethclark and create a user name and password. 

2.  Together we will choose a program to meet your needs and current fitness level. 
Note:  Choosing a Beachbody workout is optional for this challenge.  Although I encourage all participants to workout with one of the many Beachbody programs, it's summer!  I know that many of you may be getting your workouts outside! :)

3.  You commit to replacing 1-2 meals a day with Shakeology for the duration of the group.  I require Shakeology because it is one meal that you don't have to worry about.  If you choose to discontinue Shakeology after the challenge, that is perfectly fine with me!  But it definitely was the missing piece when I was trying to lose weight.  Remember, cutting calories usually means cutting nutrients - this is exactly why diets don't work!

4.  You are an active participant in the challenge group.  This means that you log into the closed facebook support group at least once a day to report and to see the daily post.

5.  You can request to join the challenge group here.  I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

So are you interested in joining the group?  What do you need to do?

1. Go to my site and sign up for a free account.

2. If you have more questions send me an email at puffnsigh@hotmail.com and I would be glad to either discuss the program in more detail or give you the directions to sign up.

3. You can go ahead and purchase your Shakeology by clicking this link. Then, choose the Shakeology flavor you would like (my favorite is CHOCOLATE) and then the bag or packets. Personally I think the bag has more in it than the packets so I would go with that option!!! Then, make sure you choose the home direct option. It will save you at least $15 in shipping. The good thing is that as your coach I will remind you in 3 weeks to either change your flavor, quantity, or to cancel your order. There is no penalty for canceling so it's totally worth the savings!!!

Once you place your order, request to join the facebook group and I will contact you to set your goals and get you started with the group!!!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fit Tip Tuesday - Eat Oatmeal!

Oatmeal is loaded with soluble fiber that can help lower cholesterol, promote heart health, help keep you full for a long time and kills your cravings.  Oatmeal also digests slowly, which means your body gets a steady stream of energy.

Oatmeal keeps insulin levels low & steady to prevent weight gain.  Eating oatmeal every day for breakfast can also help those struggling with weight loss to lose weight faster and better.  Oatmeal also contains B vitamins, which help transform carbs into usable energy and help keep us happy and stress free.

 Another reason you should eat oatmeal each day is to help keep your immune system healthy and strong so it can fight off illnesses and infections. Oatmeal contains several important nutrients in it such as zinc, selenium, calcium, B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, copper, magnesium, and manganese. Without these nutrients our immune systems would not function properly at all and we would be sick all the time.
Oatmeal contains a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and is a good source of protein, complex carbohydrates and iron.

Personally, I never get sick of eating oatmeal - I eat it every day!  There are so many flavor varieties you can make just by adding a few simple ingredients.  It is very quick and easy to make, super healthy and 100% natural!  What's not to love?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Fuel Your Body Friday - Quinoa & Black Bean Stuffed Peppers

Here is a healthy and delicious Mexican enchilada recipe that uses peppers instead of tortillas. It is low-carb and vegetarian. (Which is probably why my youngest son devoured it - no meat!)

The only bad thing I have to say about this recipe was that it was not quite spicy enough for me. Next time I think I will add a hotter enchilada sauce and add it to the insides of the peppers as well as in the baking dish. Or maybe adding some salsa on top would help, too. :)

Quinoa & Black Bean Stuffed Peppers

4 bell peppers (I only had 3), sliced in half with seeds removed
1 c quinoa
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 roma tomato, seeded and diced (we left this out)
1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies (whole can with juices)
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can red enchilada sauce
grated cheese, optional

Add quinoa and onion to a large saucepan with 2 cups water and pinch of salt.  Bring to boil over medium-high heat.  Boil 5 minutes, cover, turn off heat and let steam 15 minutes.  Fluff with a fork.

While quinoa is cooking, microwave pepper halves 2-3 minutes to soften slightly.  If you want them crisper, leave this step out.  (We didn't microwave them first.)

Pour quinoa mixture into a mixing bowl.  Stir in black beans, tomato, green chilies, cilantro, salt and pepper. 

Pour enchilada sauce into a 9x13" baking dish.  Divide filling among peppers.  Place peppers into baking dish.  (I would pour more enchilada sauce into each pepper at this point, if you want.)  Sprinkle with cheese.

Cover the dish with foil and bake 375 F for 25-30 minutes.  Remove foil and cook about 5 minutes longer.  Serve peppers drizzled with enchilada sauce.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Fit Tip Tuesday - Sleep

If you want to lose weight, make sure you get enough sleep!

Too many people take sleep for granted.  Sleep deprivation causes stress, obesity, heart disease, decreased mental and athletic performance and many other conditions.

Inadequate sleep:
  • interferes with the body's ability to metabolize carbohydrates and causes high blood levels of glucose, which leads to higher insulin levels and greater body-fat storage.
  • drives down leptin levels, which causes the body to crave carbohydrates.
  • reduces levels of growth hormone--a protein that helps regulate the body's proportions of fat and muscle.
  • can lead to insulin resistance and contribute to increased risk of diabetes
  • can increase blood pressure
  • can increase the risk of heart disease
Even in young, healthy people, a sleep deficit of three to four hours a night over the course of a week has a triple-whammy effect on the body.

While you sleep, your body produces leptin - a hormone that plays a key role in regulating energy intake and expenditure, including appetite/hunger, metabolism, as well as behavior.

Deep sleep is also when the body produces HGH (human growth hormone).  HGH helps your body grow new muscle cells, gives you energy, youthful skin and hair, and forces your body to draw energy from your fat reserves first!

So sleep is really important if you want a healthy, happy body!  Aim for 7-8 hours per night.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Fuel Your Body Friday - Peanut Butter Popcorn

I am going to start a new series called Fuel Your Body Friday where I post a new clean recipe every week!  I hope this will help me to post recipes more often and to get out of my comfort zone by trying new foods. :)

So for the first recipe, I have Peanut Butter Popcorn!  Yes, it's clean!  This is a great recipe for the weekend, because it seems my family is always watching movies and the smell of microwave popcorn absolutely KILLS me!  So I get to have MY popcorn with yummy, melty peanut butter and I don't feel bad at all. :)

4 cups air popped popcorn (already popped)
1 TBS natural peanut butter

Heat peanut butter in the microwave until it is slightly runny, but be careful not to burn it. 

Pour over popcorn and stir. 

That's it!!  Yum!  What's not to love??

Calories: 100, protein 5g, carbs 17, fat 4g, fiber 5g

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Body Beast Update - Week 8!

I can't believe I have already done 2 months of Body Beast!  It is so fun - I am loving it!  I am getting so much stronger and my arms are super tight - I have biceps!  Just by looking at myself in the mirror, I notice the most changes in my legs, and upper body so far.  My shoulders, back and arms look thinner and my legs actually have shape to them - woo hoo! :)  My waist is getting smaller too, although not as fast as I want - but your fat comes off in sheets, and there are definitely more 'sheets' on my belly. haha  

I weighed and measured this morning and compared it to day 1.  No pictures to share yet...but here are the stats:

In 60 days, I have only lost 4 lbs - BUT I have lost 6.5 inches overall!! I still have 30 days left to bust my behind before I have to post my after pictures! I can do this! :)
Here is my schedule for this month:

Monday:  Build: Chest/Tris
Tuesday:  Bulk:  Legs
Wednesday:  Build:  Back/Bis
Thursday:  Beast: Cardio & Abs
Friday:  Build: Shoulders
Saturday:  Beast: Total Body

Monday:  Bulk: Chest
Tuesday:  Build: Legs
Wednesday:  Bulk Shoulders
Thursday:  Bulk: Back
Friday:  Bulk: Arms
Saturday:  Beast: Cardio & Abs

Then you repeat these for 2 more weeks.  I am adding in sprints on the treadmill 4x week so I can lean out a bit more without losing my hard-earned muscle. Here is what it looks like:

HIIT Interval Sprints
Run level 8 for 30 seconds
Step off/rest for 30 seconds
Repeat for 30 minutes total

This is killer!!  Let me tell you, the first day my legs were wobbly, the second day I was so sore, and the third day I had to do it again!!
For my diet, I am carb cycling!  It's really strict, but I need to totally tighten up my diet this last month to see the best results.  For 3 days I keep my macros at 55% protein, 20% carbs, 25% fat.  Then for 1 day I change it to 35% protein, 50% carbs, and 15% fat.  I keep my calories the same on my high and low carb day - I just alter the macros.

So that's it!!  Wish me luck on getting throught these next 4 weeks! haha :)