Great Spices To Give Your Favorite Low Cal Foods A Kick

Great Spices To Give Your Favorite Low Cal Foods A Kick

Rice cakes are not necessarily tasty, but they are low in calories. However, you don’t have to give up great flavor to lose weight. In fact, many people who eat healthy find they love their new way of eating and it’s almost gourmet. They use spices and herbs to boost the flavor. These don’t add calories, but they do add nutrients and have health benefits, too. Here are some great spices to give your favorite low cal foods a kick. A good place to start is a personal favorite, cinnamon. Cinnamon can boost the flavor in sauces, meats and vegetables. It actually can replace some of the sugar. Make your oatmeal dynamic with a sprinkle of cinnamon and some nuts or berries. It helps control blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of coronary disease. (Cinnamon basil is also a personal favorite.)

Chili peppers create a spicy delight.

You can change a simple soup to a roaring hot delight when you add chili peppers. Chili peppers have compounds that not only help prevent illness, they help make you well. Whether you choose fresh chili peppers, dried or powdered, you’ll make every meal more memorable. You can also stuff and road certain types of hot peppers if you’re more adventurous.

Have you had caroway seeds?

You probably have eaten caraway seeds if you’ve had Christmas baked goods with an origin in Europe. They have an anise flavor and are often in breads. There are loads of healthy nutrients in this little seed, plus iron, calcium and potassium. It also has antiaging compounds too. That cooked cabbage can play a number on your digestive system, fennel helps with the problem.

Cocoa can add comfort to a dish or create a delight when combined with other herbs and spices.

Adding a bit of cocoa to your milk or milk substitute, like almond milk not only adds flavor, it can boost your metabolism and make weight loss easier. It increases brain hormones that suppress your apetite too. Not only is this a comfort food, it improves your mood and makes your hair dazzling. If you want a meat marinade that will make the dish special, create one from 100 percent raw cocoa and chili powder.

If you like the licorice tast of caroway seeds, consider fennel seeds, better yet, try cooking a fennel bulb. It’s low cal and yummy. Fennel also boosts your metabolism and aids digestion.

A pinch of garlic can make any dish more desirable, while having loads of health benefits. It does leave a lingering odor if much is ingested, so eat it wisely and when you’re planning to be alone for an evening.

Turmeric adds an exotic flavor to dishes.and has huge health benefits. There are studies that indicate its good for a number of conditions, including slowing th progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Fresh oregano has a mild taste that adds extra flavor to salads, soups and other dishes. It also has many health benefits like antioxidant properties, antibacterial properties plus vitamins and minerals. Sprinkle some on tomato slices to boost the flavor.

Stretches That Relieve Stress

Stretches That Relieve Stress

If you’ve had one of those days where every muscle in your body is screaming from the tension, you don’t have to reach for the ibuprofen to relieve your headache. It probably won’t help that knot in the pit of your stomach or bring the relief you hoped to achieve. There are stretches that relieve stress, however, which can do the trick and have you feeling better in no time.

Relax your shoulders and neck.

Many people, particularly those at a desk job, start to feel stress in their shoulders and neck. In fact, people with TMJ may actually get relief from massages to the muscles at the back of the head and even stretches for the neck. If you’re sitting in a chair, put both feet flat onto the floor and sit up straight. Your feet should align with the outer edges of your shoulders. Put your hands behind your head, interlocking your fingers. They should be at the base of your neck. You’ll be holding that position as you tilt your head forward and slowly squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold it for about 15 seconds, release and push them tightly together three more times. You’re feeling better, aren’t you.

Another neck and shoulder stretch to do.

The neck and shoulders is often the area where people feel the pain the most, with the back being next in line. You need to stand for this stretch, keeping your knees slightly bent. Drop you head until your chin touches your chest. Put your hands behind your head and push down. You’ll feel it slightly stretch. Hold that position and breathe in and out normally several times. Slowly raise your head and repeat about five times. You’ll feel the difference.

Stretch those back muscles and leg muscles.

This can be a lifesaver if you have an achy back from stress. Lay on the floor with your knees bent. Hold a rolled towel with one end in each hand. Lift one leg, extending it upward and putting the towel either behind your heel or on the arch of your foot. Gently pull your leg toward you, feeling the stretch. Hold it and then relax, doing the other leg.

Do a push away for upper back relief. You can do it standing or sitting. Interlock your fingers in front of you with your arms parallel to the floor. Keep your neck relaxed and round your back, pushing your hands forward with the palms facing outward. Hold, breathe in and out slowly, relax and repeat.

To relieve lower back stress, sit in your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Lean over and grab your ankles with both hands. You’ll feel the stretch in your lower back. Hold that position for a few seconds and then repeat several times until it no longer feels tight.

While it’s not exactly a stretch, this one does relax your hands. Bend your arms at the elbow with your hands up. Relax your hands and shake them by moving the forearm slightly forward and back quickly. Shake them side to side too. They should be like limp rags. You’ll feel the muscles relax.

Try a breathing exercise for overall relaxation. This yoga style technique works every time. Close your eyes and focus your attention to your breaths, breathing in slowly through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Spend a few minutes doing this and you’ll chase away overall stress.

One Pound At A Time

One Pound At A Time

When you’re trying to shed those extra pounds, looking at your overall goal can be overwhelming, particularly if that number is large. In many cases, you’ll do better looking at it as one pound at a time. You can appreciate the effort more quickly and be less discouraged. Of course, that doesn’t mean you weigh yourself every hour, but do it one time a week at the same time of day to get the most accurate view of your weight loss. Don’t be discouraged if you find you haven’t lost weight, particularly if it’s a time when you’re prone to water retention. You can actually fight that bloat by drinking more water, which acts as a diuretic.

Losing weight is like saving money.

If you had to save $5000, you wouldn’t expect to do it overnight….not even if you bought a lottery ticket—unless you’re one of the very few that wins the big amount, which doesn’t happen often. You’d start saving a little each week until eventually had enough. You’d find the first $100 was the toughest, but if you started marking your achievement each time you added a $20 bill, it would give you a feeling of accomplishment. That’s what happens when you try to lose weight. It won’t happen overnight, so appreciate each pound you lose.

Consider each meal as you try to shed a pound.

In order to lose weight, you need to eat 3500 fewer calories. If you eat 500 calories less each day, by the end of the week, you’ll lose one pound. Making substitutions, such as eating an apple instead of a candy bar, can save about 100 to 150 calories (depending on the type of candy you like!). Eating a burger between lettuce instead of a bun can save 170 calories. While I recommend a healthy eating plan, these are just two examples that will have you on your way to a 500 calorie savings each week.

Burn off extra calories with a vigorous workout.

Working out for an hour burns extra calories. While the number varies by the workout you do and your weight, you’ll burn anywhere from 300 to 400 calories using the workouts I provide. That’s almost the total you need each day to reach the 500 calorie savings. Don’t workout without adjusting your eating habits, opting for a sugary treat for an extra hour of exercise. That’s not only unhealthy, it never helps you change your lifestyle.

Walk whenever you can. Sure, finding the magic parking space close to the door is exciting, but parking further out allows you to get in a few more steps. Every calorie you burn gets you closer to your goal.

Keep your healthy eating habits by saying just one more day, when you’re craving a high calorie treat. Don’t say never again, because that’s a huge amount of time and can get discouraging.

Be happy with yourself. Appreciate who you are and how you look. You don’t have to wait until you lose the weight to appreciate yourself. Negative thoughts can block your progress.

Notice other things besides weight loss. If you find you have more energy or that your clothes are fitting loser, that’s a victory. Sometimes, you’ll lose inches long before you shed pounds.

Habits Of Healthy People

Habits Of Healthy People

healthy habitsIf you want to be rich, find someone who is rich and follow their habits. If you want to be healthy, learn the habits of healthy people and mirror them. It’s a simple method to helping yourself to a world of good health and fitness. One of the easiest habits to mimic, particularly if you workout and sweat, is to drink plenty of water. It chases away the mental fuzziness, makes you more alert. While the average is about two liters or eight 8-ounce glasses, some people need more on days they profusely perspire. Carry water with you at all times and sip on it frequently.

Exercise is another important habit.

You didn’t expect me to skip this one did you? I preach the health benefits of exercising all the time. People who are the healthiest get about 30 minutes of exercise each day. While it may not be at a gym, they’re always moving. One study showed that while 150 minutes was adequate exercise to bring health benefits, 170 minutes or more each week was even better.

Healthy people eat healthy with loads of fruits and vegetables.

It’s harder to get all the nutrition you need today. Studies show that many of the nutrients are in shorter supply, since our fruits and vegetables contain less than they did just 20 to 30 years ago. To make matters worse, pesticides are often found in fresh fruits and veggies, plus there’s the threat of GMO foods. Start by avoiding processed food. Do yourself a favor and select an abundance of organic fresh fruits, vegetables and meat or protein source for your diet. Consider grass fed beef and eggs from free range chickens to maximize the nutrition. Create a meal that has a wide selection of different colors to provide the most different types of nutrients.

They laugh a lot and enjoy the company of others.

Healthy people are often social people. They smile more than twice as much as the average person, according to studies. Smiling activates the pleasure center of the brain and provides a bigger response than even chocolate. One smile is produces a reaction in the brain center that’s the equivalent of eating 2,000 chocolate bars…and it contains no calories! In fact, a study at Wayne State University in 2010 that used the player cards of Major League baseball players from 1952 found that those who smiled in their picture had a life span five years longer.

Healthy people meditate. While they might not call it that, they have a method, whether it’s through breathing or just mindful mental calming, which lowers blood pressure and stress levels.

Healthy people are always learning. They keep their mind active and stay interested in the world around them.

Healthy people start their day like a cat, with a good stretch of all their body parts.

Healthy people have good sleep habits. Exercise can help you sleep, but good sleep hygiene, which includes going offline and shutting down the television, is up to you.

Diet Hacks To Help You Stick With It

Diet Hacks To Help You Stick With It

diet hacksMany of the foods you eat are out of habit, more than preference. While you may think they’re your favorite, once you get used to a healthy diet and they’re no longer a familiar meal, you’ll find they don’t taste as good as you thought. Here are some diet hacks to help you stick with it when the fast food parlor beckons you as you pass it or the box of cookies calls. Make sure you identify your goal clearly and the reasons you want to eat healthy and/or lose weight. It’s one of the first hacks to help you stay on track.

Keep a refrigerator of healthy food.

The same is true for the cupboards and freezer. If you only have healthy food in the house, when that uncontrollable urge to eat hits you at midnight, you won’t be cheating. Air popped popcorn will be your food of choice or a healthy snack of an apple or other fresh fruit. If it’s not in your home, you won’t be tempted. As far as the rest of the people in the house, the next hack will help you there.

Have healthy snacks readily available.

There are some excellent snack foods that fill you up, not out and contain an abundance of nutrition. Having them on hand and ready takes a little forethought, but it’s well worth the effort. Your family will also have these snacks available and may not notice there are no cookies and chips in the cupboard (but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it). Peanut butter and apples are one choice. (Don’t use the apple as the delivery system for peanut butter, slathering small slices in it). One teaspoon of peanut butter per half apple please. Spicy baked chickpeas, homemade Larabars, amaranth popcorn and sweet potato quinoa cakes are just a few more.

Keep your goal written and posted.

Keeping your goal always visible can help keep you focused. Have it posted on the refrigerator and even put it in your Smartphone. If you want to try something different, record a message to yourself. Tell yourself you’ll make your goal, that you can lose weight and you stick with the plan. When you feel tempted, listen to the message. Studies show the words you use can be first person. “I always achieve what I set my mind to do.” Second person, “You always get what she sets her mind to do.” or Third person, “Mary Jones always achieves what she sets her mind to do.

Don’t let a slip set you off track. So what if you ate a slice of pie or even a whole cake! Get right back on the dietary plan and don’t look back at the transgression.

Be patient. While everyone wants results and wants them right now. It took a while to put on the weight and it will take a while for it to come off.

Celebrate smaller victories. You may have a master plan where losing 50 or more pounds is the goal. That can look pretty hard, so break it down to smaller ones and pat yourself on the back when you reach the smaller goals.

Make a meal a production, sitting at a table with a plate and silverware. Make sure the plate is smaller, so it makes your meal look larger. Don’t grab a bite on the fly.

Take Control Of Your Body

Take Control Of Your Body

take controlWhen you try on beach wear do you feel like your body has turned against you and intentionally looks bad just to mock you. You don’t have to put up with it any longer. You can take control of your body and make it behave and look like you want it too. It takes effort on your part, but well worth it in the end. You just have to persevere until your body looks like you want. I’ll help you with the right type of exercises and a healthy eating regimen.

Never surrender to fat.

You may be at wits end thinking that you’ll be forever trapped in a body that’s overweight and out of shape, but I say nonsense. Even if you’ve failed to shed pounds before, it doesn’t make you a failure. It means you either know what doesn’t work or what throws you off track to the perfect body. I’ll work with you to insure you stick to the program and provide motivation until you see results. Results are the real motivator and with my program, you’ll get them fast.

Dedicate a month to sticking with the program.

If you think about dedicating a lifetime to exercise, it sounds overwhelming when you’re first starting a workout and healthy eating program. Instead, set a one month devotion to fitness. Take your measurements and weight when you start. Notice how long it takes before you run out of steam. Work your hardest for one month and stick to it. If at the end of the month you want to quit, feel free to do that. I guarantee if you follow my program to the letter, that won’t happen because you’ll see fantastic results.

Plan to go shopping after a few months.

Start putting away a few dollars a day for a big shopping trip. You’ll need to do that because none of your clothes will fit after a few months. Start today with that in mind and enjoy the process that gets you there. If you had loads of weight to lose and no “skinny” clothes in your closet, you may find that trip is necessary after just a month or two.

Only you can make the difference. I can provide the plan of exercise, healthy eating and motivation, but the success or failure all depends on you. Stick with it and you’ll tame your body.

Notice your energy level growing. The body is amazing. The more you work it, the more energy you seem to have. You’ll get work done faster while you’re losing weight and even want to become more active.

Love the feeling that comes with a good workout. While you’re working out, enjoy the daily effects that make it worthwhile. You’ll feel amazing after a workout since it burns off the hormones of stress and replaces them with ones that make you feel good.

Enjoy your new way of eating. You won’t starve yourself and probably will eat more than you normally would. Best of all, the food tastes fantastic and helps you shed pounds.

Start Today

Start Today

Getting fit doesn’t require a lot of detailed planning, although short and long term goals will help. The most important part is getting started. So start today and get moving. You don’t have to wait to find a gym or a fitness guru if you have a computer, iPhone or tablet. I can help you with my online program that provides everything you need to get thinner, fitter and healthier. You can workout in the privacy of your home with this guided program, which is far less expensive than gym membership.

Accomplishing your goals starts with the first step.

No matter how well intentioned you are, you have to take the first step to be successful. Whether it’s starting a meal plan, exercising or both, getting started is the first most important step. Don’t waste time or procrastinate thinking you’ll have to do a lot of planning when I’ve already done that for you. That saves time and is well established with scientific knowledge and fitness savvy.

Put one foot in front of the other.

When I was a kid, and for many years since, there was a Christmas special where young Santa was telling how easy it was to be good. You just put one foot in front of the other and soon you’ll be walking across the floor. Then you put one foot in front of the other and soon you’ll be walking out the door. The verse that really caught my attention in this song was this. “You never will get where you’re going, If you never get up on your feet” That is a great phrase for anyone that wants to become fitter and more shapely. You have to start before you can succeed.

You control it all. You make the difference.

You can be the master of your fate. Start today, stick with it for a month and watch the smile grow on your face. It only takes one month to make a difference that is so obvious, you can see it easily. Dedicate one month to sticking strictly to the plan and you’ll never look back with regret on what might have been. You’ll have the proof it works.

You’ll not only look better, you’ll feel better after just one month. You’ll have more energy and be ready to take on the world.

You’ll notice the difference in your stress level immediately. Exercise burns of the hormones created by stress and leaves you feeling more relaxed and happy.

If you need support, I’m always here to help.

Eating healthy is part of the program. Once you find out how good healthy food tastes you’ll wonder why you didn’t eat this way before.

Eat Drink And Sweat

Eat Drink And Sweat

Eat Drink and Sweat

Eat, drink and sweat your way to your ultimate fitness goal. It’s a great deal of fun when you think of it as a game you can win. All it takes is the right mindset, determination and knowing the right moves. You can conquer the extra pounds and come out a winner, who also feels and looks fantastic. You’ll feel years younger, but also know you’re doing something great for your health.

Don’t diet but learn to eat healthier.

Diets don’t work. We both know that. They always end, sometimes late at night in front of the refrigerator and sometimes after you lost the weight you wanted to lose. You might think that losing the weight means the diet worked, but ultimately you go back to old eating habits and regain the weight. Even worse, sometimes you regain the weight and more extra pounds. Instead of dieting, learning a new way to eat will not only help you take off pounds, but also keep them from returning.

Eating healthier doesn’t mean giving up everything you love.

Eating healthier means making some changes or substitutions. Some may seem small and insignificant, such as eating wild or brown rice instead of white rice. However, not only do you get more nutrients, it’s also lower in calories. When you add all those small changes together you’ll be eliminating a lot of calories from your daily intake. Other changes might mean eating more frequently, but making those meals healthy. You’ll also have to be prepared to eat healthy snacks to keep hunger at bay between meals. You’ll learn to cook differently too, eating foods steamed, broiled, baked or boiled rather than fried. If you have a favorite food, you can eat it sparingly or learn to make it healthier and lower in calories and be able to eat it more frequently.

Working out and working up a sweat is another way to shave pounds off quickly.

Eating healthy lowers your caloric intake, while exercising increases your caloric output. When you combine the two, you have a dynamite combination that literally blasts pounds off your body. Not only does exercising regularly help you lose weight by increasing the calories you burn, it also builds muscle tissue. Muscle tissue requires more calories to maintain than fat tissue does, so you’ll be boosting your metabolism and burning extra calories 24/7.

Drinking plenty of water while you’re trying to lose weight not only replenishes your fluids after you exercise, it also flushes out the toxins in your system and helps you feel fuller so you’ll eat less.

Don’t forget one more important aspect, sleep. Staying healthy and looking your best requires adequate sleep. When you lack sleep, you’re far more tempted to eat something sugary for energy and that can destroy a weight loss program.

You don’t have to have a goal of weight loss to benefit from eating healthy, exercising and drinking plenty of water. It helps everyone look and feel years younger.

You’ll love how great you feel and how much energy you’ll have after you start a healthy eat, drink and sweat program. You’ll want to share it with friends and will be doing them a favor if you do.

Are You Overweight Because Of A Hormone Imbalance?

I have had clients at RC Fitness in Houston, TX, who put on weight easily and are overweight. They find it hard to take off those extra pounds. It’s not that they eat more than others. It’s that they have a hormone imbalance, which makes it harder. If you feel like you’re trying your hardest to shed those extra pounds, but your body is fighting harder to keep them, that may be the case. You can control many of the factors when you know what to do. Hormonal imbalances make it especially hard for women going through menopause, when hormone levels are regularly changing. There are ways to identify the problem and control it.

When hormone levels drop, each level diminishes different.

One sign of estrogen dominance is weight gain. You’d think that at menopause, with consistently lower levels of estrogen, you’d find it easier to lose weight. That doesn’t happen because at the same time, progesterone levels are also dropping and you need the fine balance of the two to maintain normal weight and burn calories. When progesterone levels drop faster than estrogen, it creates an estrogen dominance and weight gain.

Other hormones play a role in weight loss.

Besides estrogen and progesterone, you have a number of other hormones that determine your weight. Insulin ensures your body uses the energy properly. High levels lead to insulin resistance and weight gain on your belly. Too much cortisol, the hormone of stress, is burned off when you run or fight. You can burn them off by mimicking those actions with exercise. Hormones that control hunger levels, leptin and ghrelin, tell you when you’re full or hungry. Too much leptin, the satiety hormone, develops leptin resistance and your body doesn’t get that message of being full. Too much ghrelin keeps you hungry all the time.

You don’t have to take medication to level hormones

Adequate sleep can help you keep your ghrelin and leptin balanced. You can reduce the amount of cortisol and stress hormones by simply exercising regularly. It mimics fighting or running that they are meant to help you do. Exercise also helps you modify the imbalance of estrogen and progesterone. It helps lower insulin levels and prevents insulin resistance. Eating healthy is another way of helping your hormone levels stay in balance and keeping you in a normalized state.

Walking is a great way to start if you are completely out of shape. As you get fitter, you’ll be able to workout harder and see even faster results.

Sometimes, your body needs additional nutrition. When you don’t get adequate sun, you may have vitamin D shortage, particularly if you use sunblock. Magnesium and vitamin B are also important in maintain a good hormonal balance.

Too much caffeine and red meat might be causing the problem you face with your weight. Don’t forget to include healthy fat in your diet and make sure you focus heavily on whole foods, like vegetables and fruit.

Your gut health plays an important role in regulating your hormones. Probiotic food like yogurt, sauerkraut and kefir contain healthy bacteria that can help you lose weight. Food high in soluble fiber, such as asparagus, onions and bananas are food for that bacteria and called prebiotics.