Monday, December 27, 2010

Vibram update!

Hello,

As you all know, I've been with my Vibram Fivefingers (yay) for several months now! I train clients in them, I run in them, I squat in them, I deadlift in them, hell if I could, I'd sleep in them (eww).  Not only are they extremely comfortable, they are extremely comfortable (oh wait, didn't I just say that?) HAHA. Well it's true, if they weren't comfortable I wouldn't wear them all the time.  I'm actually starting to itch for another pair.  I was going to head out to buy another pair today but because of our massive snow storm (roughly 20 inches) I'm stuck indoors, yet again, because the winds are too scary to tackle.  Mark my words, before the end of the week I shall own my second pair of Vibram Fivefingers! I'm going for a more casual look, the ones that look like flats are that are made for indoor use.

Anyways, I'd like to update ya'll on how I've been feeling since I've gotten them.  There has been a significant improvement in my balance (not that I had really bad balance before) but I find that it's much easier to do everyday things.  And it's funny because I find myself gripping the floor with my tootsies, the same way you grip things with your fingers.  It really is pretty fascinating.  Also,  when I lift, for example, during squats, I definitely get a better feel for the floor and a stronger push off the ground when it comes time to lift the weight back to the starting position.  As far as lower leg strength goes, well I feel a difference and I think I've even noticed that my calves have gotten bigger.  WOHOO!  I still get sore calves after running in my Vibrams but not as sore as I used to.  I find that the calves are now accustomed to actually having to work during a run, as opposed to just the quads, hams and glutes.

Getting back to comfort, well my clients always ask me if they are comfortable and if there's any arch support.  Yes and Yes!  If you enjoy walking barefoot, these shoes are most certainly for you.  They mimic the feeling of being free to the T.  The shoes are so light that you actually forget you're wearing something on your feet.  The "designated toes" don't even feel like they're there.  Once you've worn them a few times, you won't go back.  I actually found that during the days I have to stand for long hours, if I wear sneakers my knees begin to hurt.  I guess it's the lack of support that sneakers give you and that your feet tend to swish around inside them.  When I wear the Vibrams, there's no pain.

So that's the latest update.  I'll keep you posted on my new pair! YAY!!!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Every Half Hour: A Thank You to Amazing Women

Short insight to the life of a trainer (to be continued):
I know it's been a while since I've written, but I've been busy changing lives.  I love what I do for the sole purpose of being able to help someone look and feel better about themselves.  Many people don't realize just how complex the job of a personal trainer is.  People think that we only care about you for those 2 or 3 hours a week that we're physically with you, but in reality, its so much more than that.  The more I train, the more people I meet, the more I find that this is a 24/7 type of job.  My days are filled with interesting twists and turns, driving to several different jobs, meeting people with all types of needs.  My job does not end at 5pm, but rather continues on into the later hours of the night.  Between designing programs, constant follow-ups via email/text/phone calls to make sure workouts and eating habits are done properly, and the several hours of my dedication to my client, its amazing that I find time for my own workouts.  Don't get me wrong, I love what I do but I'd like to clarify on my behalf and on the behalf of every other trainer there is in this world that we are dedicated to our clients all day every day.  In these rough economic times I know its tough to find time for yourself, but put into perspective for a minute what it is exactly that a trainer does for their client: custom designed programs to fit your specific goals, nutritional information (meal plans) for every day of the week, 2-4 personal sessions weekly, follow ups post workout (to see how they feel, what they're eating), daily workout plans, teaching body awareness and proper workout technique, and the list goes on.  We as trainers should be seen as a "Lifestyle Coach" not as someone who wants to take your money and forget about you at the end of the day.  I'm in no way saying that the lifestyle I've chosen is one that I'll regret, but in retrospect, I've chosen a lifestyle that fits me.  What I want for my clients is the same thing I want for myself; to look in the mirror and to be proud of what you see and who you are.  Nothing is learned in a day, and I as a trainer, am here to show you what I've learned.  Don't be afraid to challenge yourself, your body, your mind.  Exercising is not supposed to be easy.  Perfection takes hard work and dedication.  You can look, feel, be free the way you've always wanted to be.  Step up to the plate and take the challenge.  Results can and will be seen when your head and heart are in the game.  So, get up and go change you life.  Don't expect instant results, the body doesn't work that way, give it time, work hard for it and in the end you'll know that you were the one who did it yourself! With the support of friends, family and the guidance of a Trainer you will become who you've always wanted to be.


That being said, I'd like to share with you some amazing inspirational stories that I'm so happy to be a part of.  For the past 7 months I've had the extreme pleasure of working for a women's gym, Get In Shape For Women .  It began out in Massachusetts and the facility I work at is in Ridgewood, New Jersey.  We specialize in small group training, 4 women at a time.  We offer weight training, cardio, nutrition, accountability. It's really an amazing place to work and results are seen on a weekly basis.  Check out the website for more information!

Every half hour I'm changing lives. I'd like to personally thank all the women that I've been training over at GISFW. I don't even know where to begin... These women have come such a long way in the 7 months I've been there.  I'd like to share a couple success stories to be proud of: 33lbs lost in 29 weeks, 29lbs lost in 28 weeks and the list goes on and on.  Other things I've heard while training these awesome women is "I feel so much stronger" (while curling with 10lb weights) or "I remember I could never hold a plank the whole way through," or my favorite yet "I was taken off my blood pressure medication."  The stories go on, and each one is better than the next.  The transformations that I've seen have been incredible.  I'm so happy that I get to be a part of their transformation on a daily basis.  Like I said, every half hour I'm changing lives and it's awesome.  Their hard work, dedication, commitment, energy, drive and desire to be the best they can be is outstanding.  It really is truly amazing.  There's so much more I can say and go on and on about how awesome they are but I'm afraid it will get to long.  So for now, I just want to say Thank You for coming in every day and for working hard.  It's great to be your trainer and to be a part of your success stories.  :0) You all hold a place in my heart :0)

Monday, November 22, 2010

The ABC's of Fitness

Abs you want
     Body you crave
          Confidence you'll get

For a limited time only, "Get Fit Starter Kit", but hurry, offer ends January 1st, 2011.

This is a great way for you to burn off those delicious holiday desserts!  Start now and look great for New Years!

New Years resolutions?  Why wait till Jan 1st to swear you'll exercise and get in shape?  START NOW and leave your friends in the dust as you get a head start on your resolutions!

Starter Kit details:
*5 sessions for $150 ($30 a session)
*5 weeks of training (1 session a week)
*Weekly Calendar (specific exercises designed for your needs)
*Nutrition information (guidelines to help keep you energized)

Contact me for more information!
bissi.carla8@gmail.com
www.carlabissifitness.com

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Importance of Carbs in our diet!

Carbohydrates are the main energy source for the body.  We need some carbs to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Moderation is key.  Low-carb diets help people control weight.  

Simple carbs- a carbohydrate that has one or two sugar molecules (sucrose=table sugar, fructose=fruit, lactose=dairy products).
Complex carbs- carbohydrate that include more than two sugar molecules (pasta, rice, bread, potatoes)

Glycemic Index is a tool nutritionists use today to help decide which carbs are best for you and how the body reacts to them chemically.  The GI indicates how quickly food turns into glucose by assigning numeric value.  Foods that have a high GI are usually the ones that break down faster (digested quickly) and are not as nutritious as those with a low GI value.  

*Glucose=blood sugar (remember keeping the blood sugar level helps to keep you from going hungry).  The presence of sugar in the blood causes the production of insulin.  Insulin moves sugar that's not being used for energy out of the bloodstream and stores it in your body.

As mentioned, food with a high Glycemic Index(pasta, bread, white rice) are digested quickly by the body, which in turns floods the bloodstream with sugar. Insulin reacts- if its not being burned for energy, it is stored as fat.  Once it's turned into fat, the blood sugar begins to drop and you get hungry again.  This type of eating creates spikes and drops in blood sugar levels which can lead to binge eating.

A well balanced meal (chicken, high fiber veggies, brown rice) is a meal with a low GI.  Food is digested more slowly, blood sugar levels rise slightly, and allows for hours of energy due to the availability of glucose.  This means you have hours to burn off the sugar.  This helps to keep blood sugar levels even, which helps repair/build muscle, keeps you energized, and appetite under control.  

Glycemic Index is a measure of time- how long it takes 50 grams of the foods carbs to turn into sugar.  Glycemic Load (GL) considers both the GI of a food and the amount of carbs in one serving.  Helps to gauge the elevation of blood glucose that food will cause in the body.

High GL= spike in blood sugar= less control over energy levels and appetite.  Meals with too low of a GL will not provide a sufficient amount of carbs for the body's energy needs.  Center meals around foods with GLs of 19 and a GL of less than 120 for the whole day.


Examples:
banana 12
fettuccine 18
sweet potato 17
low fat yogurt 10
orange juice 12
mashed potatoes 15
saltine crackers 12

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Why we need fat in our diets!


- fat plays an essential role in the delivery of vitamis A,D,E and K
- fat helps produce testosterone, which helps to trigger muscle growth

Here are the different fat types to look out for:

Trans fat: is bad!  essentially trans fat is a manufacture type of fat and stays solid at room temperature.  this means that your body has a very hard time breaking down these types of fats. they raise LDL cholesterol (bad) and lower HDL (good) cholesterol.

be wary of foods that are made with partially hydrogenated oil- these are infused with trans fat.
( crackers, fish sticks, cheese spreads, candy bars, cookies)

stay away from: fried foods- trans fat foods spoil less easily than natrual foods so are easier to ship- try ordering baked or broiled foods instead

Saturated fat: is bad! naturally occuring fats found in meat and dairy products. are usually stored as fat instead of used for energy by the body.  it's important to opt for lean cuts and leaner versions of dairy products. (meat part doesn't totally apply to you, but it's important for you to know)

avoid- whole milk dairy products

Polyunsaturated fats: are good! these are the ones you need to be eating! you've heard them as Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acid.  fats found in fish. found to protect the heart from cardiovascular disease.  this type of fat can help control weight.

choose: salmon, tuna (not canned) have the highest sources of omega 3's. also a great source of protein.  flaxseed, flaxseed oil is a grain that is loaded with omega 3's and is a cholesterol busting fiber.  Great for smoothies, healthy homemade muffins, oatmeal, yogurt.

Omega 6's help lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol. found in vegetable oils, eggs, dairy products.

Monosaturated fats: are good! found in nuts, olives, peanuts, avocados, olive and canola oils.  can help reduce cholesterol levels, protect against heart disease, help burn fat, and help you feel fuller longer.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thank You

This blog isn't really going to be about fitness or nutrition, it's actually more about inspiration and how many different forms it comes in.  Inspiration can come in a color, a tree, a song, or better yet, a person.  In today's blog I'd like to thank 2 people in particular.  One I've know about 4 months, the other I just met, but both of these individuals made such a huge impact on me that I think they deserve so much more than a thank you.  But for now, thank you is all I can offer.

Before I begin, I'd like to remind each and every one of you how quickly we take for granted those who are close to us.  We get so used to having their company that eventually we take them for granted.  Now I'm telling all of you to count your blessings, but just be thankful and grateful for those who are always there for you through thick and thin.  Just remember that a thank you can mean so much more.

First, I'd like to talk about someone I trained for about 4 months.  Darryl McDaniels , most of you know him as DMC from the kick ass Run DMC. They sang the greatest song ever, "tricky".  I'd like to start from the beginning... I had just started at Gold's Gym on April 26th.  I was new so nobody knew who I was so I was on the floor trying to make friends and get some sessions.  One of the trainers there at the time was training DMC, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever.  Long story short, the trainer left and I remember so clearly to this day, when D popped his head into the office, looked at me and asked me if I was free the next day.  There I was sitting in the chair designing a program for one of my clients and Mr. Darryl McDaniels (whose picture I had looked at so many times and thought "HOW COOL IS IT HE TRAINS HERE?!) comes in and asks ME to train him.  Wow, boy was I nervous.  What the hell was I going to do with a man that was already so strong, in shape and be able to kick his butt? Needless to say, I came up with a full body program and at 7am June 2 our first session began.  Boy was I nervous!  It was a complimentary session and the whole time I prayed that he'd like my workout and decide to keep training with me.  Well, I have to say I was the luckiest trainer ever when he decided to buy sessions.  The next couple weeks turned into months, and our sessions turned into circuit training and from there we began sharing our love and passion for music.  Most of you don't know, but before I started training I wanted to work for a major label as their talent scout! I wanted to be the one to find the next Rihanna. It's funny how music and exercise somehow are intertwined.  I thought my days with music were behind me, but truly it was just the beginning.  I trained one of the greatest rappers of our time.  He created a generation of music, a huge following and is still very much proactive in the field to this day.  Our training sessions soon got longer as we would chat for a half hour about the people I knew in the industry, how the industry has changed and I was even able to introduce to him one of my favorite NYC based indie bands, Hollis Brown. He loved their music so much that he was kind enough to go to a show of theirs in Hoboken!  I honestly can't even tell you how awesome it was to see him up on the stairmaster rapping away to music I had shared with him.  It was like watching Spielberg make a movie!

...So to keep this from going on and on, I just want to personally thank you D for being one of the kindest people I've ever met.  You truly are an inspiration to me and a wonderful human being.  I've never met someone so down to earth, kind, warm and caring as you.   It's rare to find people now a days, with this crazy economy, that truly reach out and touch the lives of others.  So again, I'd like to thank you for taking the time out of your travels and busy schedule for helping those who struggle, need inspiration and need a jump start to a better life.  You truly are awesome.

The second person I'd like to thank, whose inspired me is Dr. D .  He's an amazing individual based out of Las Vegas.  Now when I was out there working PFI 's boot camp a few weeks ago, I had the honor of meeting this man.  He was actually presenting on the importance of networking and getting your name out there.  The one thing that really stood out to me was how he always helps others before he helps himself.  This in a way, blew my mind.  He's created a website, Connect to Fitness , that is specifically designed for Trainers to help each other out.  Trainers have the bad habit of thinking that we are all better than each other.  He was able to show us the importance of asking questions and making connections with other trainers.  After all, nobody knows everything.  If you have a larger pool of resources at your finger tips, the better trainer you become. He taught me to view other trainers not as competition, but as your help.  Help others and eventually they'll help you out.  I think this is a great reminder to everyone out that just how intertwined we are......

Just think, the big boss at a huge company fires 3 people just so he can get $35 extra in his pocket.  These 3 people fire 3 people (pool man, cleaning lady, trainer) who then loses money and can't feed their child.  Harsh reality, but very true.

So, thank you Dr. D for being another truly warm and caring person.  From the stories you told us during your presentation, you've changed the lives of many people, and in the end, there's no better feeling or reward than helping someone else.  Thank you for listening.

So remember kids, always thank your neighbors! Haha, but for real, don't take for granted the people who mean the most to you.  They always deserve a thank you, a hug or hell even a card (yea those things you send in the mail!)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The problem with media truth and real truth

This is what bothers me about the world of nutrition, diet, health, exercise and anything that is fitness related.  We are all told different things; what to eat, fad diets, carb cutting, "fat free" foods and the list goes on.  This article that I skimmed over really bothered me.  While it desguises these "200 or less calories" snacks as being great alternatives to fruits and vegetables, what they lack to tell you are the FAT content, the added ingredients and all the other things they inject in the food that makes in UNHEALTHY! Just because there are less calories DOES NOT mean it's healthy for you!  Calorie counting becomes an obsession and we soon lose focus on all the options that we actually have around us.  Did you know you have to eat some fat in order to lose fat?! WOW! Amazing!  There is a difference between healthy fat and unhealthy fat.  Healthy fat are the omega 3 and omega 6's (flaxseed and avocados). Bad fat is the kind that sits in our gut and makes it hard to put pants on!

It states that you should grab these quick snacks after a workout. WRONG! What you should be eating after a workout are the FRUITS, VEGGIES, WATER, LEAN PROTEIN or PROTEIN SHAKES.  Did you know that you actually burn more calories AFTER A WORKOUT?!  Every day we are tricked into these fast schemes to lose weight while scarfing down a burger and sitting our asses on the couch.  NEWS FLASH, this CAN NOT and WILL NOT help you lose weight.  The only way you will lose weight is by eating right, being active and making the right choices.  No one can make this lifestyle change but you.

We've come to a point in our lives where everything has become so easy for us that we no longer want to do the work.  We no longer use our brains because we can just "Google" it.  Using our brains is FUN, remember trying to solve those puzzles, or playing house or GI Joe?  We were creative as children so why not bring this creativity with you when it comes to food, exercise and staying healthy?!  The Earth is our playground and yet we still take advantage of it.  How do you think our ancestors from caveman times survived? They hunted, they were active, they fed off what Mother Nature gave them.  They pushed things, they pulled things, squated and lifted things.  We have become so detached from our bodies that most of us can hardly stand from our chairs without busting our back.  In order to prevent injury we must MOVE around and be ACTIVE.  I'm not sure how many times we've heard the same message from people all over the world and yet America is still overweight.  Did you know that over 130 million Americans are obese or overweight.  Yea, thats a huge number.

So back to my point, regardless of what this article tells you... FAST FOOD is still FAST FOOD!  McDonald's is still McDonald's, BK is BK and Wendy's is Wendy's. BAD, BAD and BAD! They tell you calorie content but conveniently forget to tell you the saturated fat and trans fat content of each of these meals.  So I beg you, don't reach for one of these greasy snacks when you have an abundance of healthier, naturally sweet options at your finger tips.

I hope the cavemen come back and kick our asses!

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/food/11-best-fast-food-post-workout-snacks-under-200-calories-2402237/

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Me and my VIBRAM Five Fingers!

Hello all!

Just wanted to share with everyone that I went for a spectacular run today (roughly 5.5-6 miles) with my new Vibram shoes.  Now, being that I just got them on Thursday and it's only Saturday, it probably wasn't the greatest idea in the world to go off and run a ridiculous amount of miles.  They say to wear your shoes for 1-2 hours at a time so that your feet and body can adjust to the changes these shoes bring to you.  Well, I was technically within the time limit because it only was only a 45 minute fun....

Well, besides my calves being so amazingly sore while I write this, it was an awesome run.  They are not joking when they say it feels like you're barefoot.  That's the reason I kept going.  Originally I was going to run at the track, but there was a lame high school football game going on so they blocked the field.  My next thought was, ok I'll turn around before the 2 mile marker and it'll be a shorter run. Then I started running and that was it.  When it came time to turn around, well that's when I realized I should have stuck to my guns and ran 3 miles.  Oh well, the feeling was just awesome.

While I was running it made me realize just how important our calf muscles are.  We take for granted the calves thinking they are small useless muscles.  Our feet too are full of muscles that need to be used!  Did you know the feet have 20 muscles?! 20 muscles in such a small area of the body, now that's truly amazing!  And that goes to say that we hardly EVER if not NEVER use those very important muscles!  Now I probably looked silly because I was running on the street avoiding acorns (which hurt when you step on, so stay clear) and getting familiar with the feeling of actually feeling the ground under my feet.  It reminded me of how sore and tired we feel after we run on the beach.  Anyway, I felt a huge difference when I was running, mostly because it really felt effortless.  I felt like my strides were bigger and I could easily maneuver around obstacles.  The power that came from my calves and toes while I pushed off the ground was amazing.  I think I utilized my calves more than I did my quads and hammies.  For those of you who hate running, these shoes are really a great alternative for you to try out.

A little about Vibram thinking.  Basically these shoes were created for hiking and sailing.  But now they offer a variety of styles for all different activities.  These shoes help make exercising, and hell, even living, fun again.  They were designed to give us the natural feeling we deserve as humans, to feel connected to the earth.  It's been said to help increase speed, agility, balance and proprioception.  This goes back to all those muscles in the feet, and just how important it is to exercise them.  Just like all our other muscles, these too need to be worked on to keep us healthy and strong.

Truly AMAZING!

Stay tuned as I update you all on my experiences with my Vibram Five Fingers!


(First day used: 11/4/10)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

YUMMY SMOOTHIE

Try this delicious smoothie to spice up your day and satisfy your sweet tooth!  (Compliments to Fitness Magazine for this awesome shake)


Triple-berry antioxidant punch

1 cup ice cubes
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup blackberries
1/4 cup drained silken tofu
2 tablespoons acai juice
2 teaspoons agave nectar
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

Nutrition Score:
149 calories
2 g fat, 6 g fiber

Be sure to place all ingredients in a blender in the order listed.  Blend on high speed until smooth.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Amazing Abs!

GREAT AB ROUTINE AT THE BOTTOM... DON'T MISS IT!


I know everyone HATES doing abs... but the question is why?  Our "core" as it has been loosely termed, is one of the most important areas of our bodies.  Now what is the "core" exactly? Good question! The core is made up of your abdominals (which consist of 4 separate muscle groups- Rectus Abdominus, Internal/External Obliques and the Transverse Abdominus) and also consists of our back muscles AKA Erector Spinae group.  Believe it or not, our back muscles are very tiny little muscles that run all the way down.  Imagine a cypress tree and thats what our back muscles look like.  We tend to use those tiny muscles to do the grunt work and we often forget about our huge muscles in the legs.  Now you wonder why it's so easy to pull your back out!

Now we've all heard our trainers tell us that its important to "work the core" and "keep the core engaged" but most of you are thinking what's the point?  By "engaging the core" us trainers are trying to tell you to tighten up the abs.  This action will help to stabilize the body in order to perform pretty much every exercise and workout routine that was designed for you.  So when we tell you to tighten up the abs, we simply want you to essentially suck in your stomach back towards your spine.  Another way to say this is, pull your belly button away from the elastic band on your pants.

When we tighten the abs we are automatically protecting the lower back from extra strain that could be caused during a high-intensity routine.  Also, this action helps you  learn the correct posture (shoulders back, chest out, looking straight ahead).  Tightening the abs and correct posture are the two of the most important things to know when you are lifting.  Without engaging the abs and straightening out the spine you are at higher risk of pulling a muscle which will keep you out of the gym for days or even weeks.  Nobody wants this.  So remember kids, always pull those abs in tight whenever your sitting, standing, walking.  This already is considered an ab workout!



5 Minute AB ROUTINE
2x30 seconds each:
scissor legs, ball exchange, sit ups, russian twists, planks




Scissor legs:
lay on back, arms resting at sides or under lower back. legs are straight out, lift legs about 2 inches off the ground and open close legs as if cutting paper

Ball exchange:
grab a small sized stability ball.  lay on your back, legs straight and arms straight overhead.  place ball between knees and ankles.  fold body in half as you bring arms up toward middle, grab ball from ankles with hands. bring back slowly toward starting position.  remember that feet and hands NEVER touch the ground

Sit ups:
hook feet under a bar or heavy weights, grab a medicine ball and lay on your back.  hold med ball in front of chest and lift back off ground toward ceiling.  come back to a 45 degree angle NEVER touching the floor

Russian twist:
sit with heels touching ground, toes facing the ceiling. lean back to 45 degrees holding medicine ball in line with belly button.  twist from side to side as if placing ball on ground.  lead with torso not with the arms.

Planks:
lay stomach down on the ground, arms directly at your sides.  come up onto forearms as you lift hips toward ceiling.  remember to maintain a table top position (straight line with body from head to toe).  be sure to tighten up the abs and hold

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fat Season is Coming!

Ohhh the weather outside is changing, and our clothes we're slowly layering, and before you know it we're chubby, oh no! what to do?! What to do?!

Yes, FAT SEASON is upon us.  As my little song says, we are going to have to start layering our clothing, therefore hiding all the hard work we've done in the past several months.  Bikini Bod is out the window as we prepare to enjoy in the comfort foods that make winter bearable for all those long months ahead.

Well, Halloween is out of the way, but what to do with all that left over candy? We think, why not eat it ourselves?  Unfortunately, all those delicious candy bars are filled with saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and all of these other bad things!  Here's an idea, why not donate that candy to your library or send them out to our soldiers in need out in Iraq and Afghanistan? Better yet, keep that unopened bag CLOSED and RETURN it to the supermarket!?!  THAT's THE BEST IDEA!

Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away! We begin to mentally prepare our bodies for the coma that will inevitably take over because of the tryptophan from the turkey.   The worst thing you can do for your body after a large meal like that is to go snooze on the couch.  This slows metabolism and keeps you feeling full for hours and maybe a little sick too?  Grab the family and go outside for a nice long walk to help digest that food.  The fresh air will be good for you, you'll get some cardio in and you'll even get to spend some nice QT with the fam.  


Then, soon after is Christmas.  It seems that the end of the year is a time to make our wallets thin and our bellies bulge....  


....We spend so much time and money on preparing meals, buying gifts and visiting family that we tend to forget about what's really important and what will inevitably keep us around longer in order for us to enjoy all those things I just mentioned.  This little thing that I'm talking about is OUR HEALTH.  We love to place blame elsewhere so that we don't feel so badly.  Truth is, due to our fast paced lifestyle, difficult work schedule and on the go meals we lack the nutrients that we need in order to stay healthy and be fit.  We have little time leftover to take care of ourselves.  Just remember, your kids will enjoy your company much more when you're not falling asleep on the couch next to them as you have Sunday night movie night. 


This FAT SEASOgive the gift of fitness.  Give the gift of fitness to you, your spouse, your teens, your neighbors, your family, uncles, cousins and yes PETS TOO!  You've heard it before and you'll hear it again... EXERCISE gives you more ENERGY, prevents DISEASES and keeps your body WORKING PROPERLY!


This FAT SEASOgive the gift of nutrition.  Eating a healthy balanced diet is the key to weight loss, and maintaing your ideal weight.  The more food you eat, the better your chances of losing weight. Sound crazy? Well, you've heard it before and you'll hear it again.  Eating 5-6 meals a day can help you lose body fat while keeping cravings at bay and starvation away.  Eating 5-6 healthy balanced meals a day (3 meals and 2-3 snacks) will keep blood glucose levels consistent which will help keep binge eating and cravings away.  


So come on, kick that FAT SEASON to the curb and keep that bikini body in check for next year's bikini season.  You'll be glad you did!  



Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Bright Side of Diet Slipups

When I was on my way to Vegas last week to help work a Boot Camp, (Check out PFI's website) I had a lot of free time to catch up on some reading that I had missed.  I have all these fitness magazines, science journals and articles that I'd like to read, but with my busy schedule it makes it hard to do so.

Anyway, I was reading Shape magazine of May 2010 (see what I mean, a little behind) and an interesting article caught my eye.  Basically it's about when we slip up on our diet and how we feel so guilty about it for the rest of the day and figure we should just continue to cheat since we messed it up anyway.  Why not change the way you look at it? Turn it into a positive instead of a negative.  I'll paraphrase the article...

Frustrated because you ate those cookies at work after you swore to yourself you'd eat healthy all day?  The relapse could help you lose weight because it shows you that your old slim-down strategies are no longer working!  Think of it this way, you probably didn't chose the snack because you were weak, it probably has something to do with the fact that your lunch was too light.  Next time add some lean protein, like chicken, into the salad to help keep you satisfied longer. "Nobody can behave perfectly all the time, so change your mindset and use those missteps to reach your goal."



To give credit where it's due:
Ellen McGrath, Ph.D., Shape advisory board member and faculty member at NYU

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fitness Challenge

I dare you to step out of your comfort zone! You too can be an athlete!

Don't like running? Why not challenge yourself to run a 5k....
(google 5k race and there will be tons of ways to find a race near you)

Blast from the past...  put on those old rollerblades and go for a whirl around the park

Like to dance? Grab a buddy and sign up for a dance class!

Downward dog, what? huh? Go try a Yoga class to relieve some stress...

There are tons of fun and exciting discoveries to be made! Get off your couch and go challenge your body, mind and soul.  You'll be happy you did....

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Meal of the Month!

Try this amazing treat!  It's easy to make and looks great on your plate!

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins

Greek Style Frittata
Ingredients:
2 c baby spinach leaves
1 1/2c frozen diced potatoes, onions and peppers- or try them fresh!
4 large eggs
1/2 c crumbled feta cheese
1/2 sliced grape tomatoes

Don't forget:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 c nonfat milk
1 tsp oregano

1. Preheat broiler on low. Meanwhile, heat a medium-sized skillet over low heat. .  Add spinach and cover for 1 minute (leaves will be barely wilted). Place in bowl and wipe pan.

2. Add olive oil to cleaned skillet and warm over medium heat.  Add the potato-veggie mix, cover and cook turning occasionally until potatoes are tender but firm.  A total of about 5-7 minutes.  Set aside.

3. Scramble eggs and milk in a medium bowl.  Add the spinach, cheese, tomatoes oregano.  If you like salt and pepper go ahead and add that in!

4. Spray an 8-10 inch non-stick ovenproof skillet (be sure the skillet is deep enough to create a "fluffy" frittata) with cooking spray and place over low heat.  Cover bottom evenly with potatoes and pour egg mixture over the top.

5. Place skillet under broiler for 1-2 minutes to finish cooking top of frittata.

*Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 206 calories, 13 g fat (4.9 g sat), 13 g carbs, 296 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 11 g protein*


I tried this recipe and it is amazing.  It was so easy to make and just as delicious to eat.  I suggest you give it a try!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I'm Sore!!! What can I do?!

Everyone hates being sore, it's probably one of the worst feelings we can experience!  Why do we get sore? How can we be less sore? HELP ME!

Well, let me explain to you the reason why we get sore after a workout. Ready? Here goes:  There are 2 types of soreness that we experience; instant soreness while we are executing an exericise and DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is what we experience 1-3 days later.  Now we've all heard about lactic acid but what the heck is it?! Lactic acid is basically a waste product of anaerobic energy production known to cause localized muscle fatigue.  In English all this means is that the body uses up all the glucose for energy production and turns to the anaerobic system for energy.   You know it as "feel the burn."  DOMS is caused by microscopic tears in the muscle fibers that happen when you apply force (weight training) to the muscle.  The reason trainers tell you to never do the same workout over and over is to work these different fibers.   Depending on how they were exercised the fibers grow in different ways to create the "toned" or "bulky" look that we so desire.

OK YEA YEA, THAT'S GREAT, BUT I'M STILL IN PAIN!!


Some great ways to cure muscle soreness:

-Stretch- yes, I know it hurts to stretch out, but right now that's exactly what your muscles want! They are tight from being worked on, so stretch to regain flexibility and full ROM (range of motion).  Tight muscles cause lower back pain and other pains in the body.  Stretch out for 3x30 seconds.

-Epsom salt- two table spoons, hot water and a nice relaxing bath for 15-20 minutes should help.  Epsom salt is a great way to help soothe achey muscles.

-IceyHot- massage into the muscles for 10 minutes before bed and wake up refreshed!

-Massage- yup, a good old massage can do the trick.  Rub out those knots with a good old rub down, but be sure to use a professional's help to get the best treatment!  After all, they do this for a living and know special tricks

-Ginger- "Studies showed that daily ginger supplementation reduced the exercise-induced pain by 25%." please visit www.jpain.org/home for more information on the study done on ginger



I hope this helps some of you!


As always, please check out my website at www.carlabissifitness.com.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Combo Workout Routine

Only have 20 minutes to workout?  Try this simple combo routine to target all the major muscle groups in a quick easy way!  Please remember that 20 minutes a day will not ultimately get you to the goal you're looking for but it's better to be active than do nothing at all. 

Combo routines are a fun and effective way to target the major muscle groups when you're in a bind for time. 

Do 3 sets of 12 of these combo moves to get your heart pumping.  All you need are some 8-10lb dumbbells!

Squat with biceps curl into shoulder press  (targets legs, biceps and shoulders)
Lunges with triceps kickbacks (targets legs, triceps)
Bridge with chest press (targets glutes, hamstrings, abs and chest)
Plank one arm row (targets abs and back)

Please visit my website at http://www.carlabissifitness.com/ for more fun facts!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Write down what you eat!

You've all heard of food journals, food diaries etc... writing down what you eat can actually be more beneficial than you think.  If you want to figure out your calorie intake keeping track of what you eat from breakfast through dinner will help you figure out what extra empty calories you are taking in.  While it may seem time consuming why not write down what you're eating as you scarf down that sandwich instead of trying to figure it out before bed? Hell, we are masters of multitasking (eating while driving, texting at dinner, texting while driving) so why not write it down while you eat.  It will only take 2 minutes to do so. 

When you see what you're eating, you will have a better sense of why you're not losing those last 5lbs, or why your gut still looks the same way it did 3 months ago.  You are what you eat, unfortunately the saying is true.  By writing down your food consumption you can begin to eliminate one unhealthy snack and replace it with a fruit or veggie.  No one says its easy but if you start slowly eventually those unhealthy snacks will turn into healthy ones and those 5lbs will soon vanish.  So take a moment out of your day to keep track of what you're eating... it will help you!

.....Not into a journal? Try doing a food blog, yup! I just read today in an article that food blogs are becoming more popular.  In my Fitness Magazine, 6 guides for an amazing you, they stated in an article "weight loss blogs can be an alternative tool for dieters who feel that keeping a pen-and-paper food journal is either inconvenient or boring.  They're also a place to connect with other people who are experiencing similar emotional ups and downs."  Food blogs can help give you the support and confidence you need to keep going.  Remember that others go through the same experiences you do and you're not alone. 

Give it a shot! Either way, food journal or food blog, it will help you get control of your diet habits and change them for the better! Eventually you won't even need to do it anymore!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Creatures of habit

A funny thought occurred to me when I went to go grab a glass of water.  Now even though I saw my Brita filter out on the counter I still walked over to the fridge, opened the door and bent down to fill up my cup.  Then I realized that it was on the counter where I had just seen it 2 seconds before. It got me thinking... we are definitely creatures of habit! How many times have you had a similar experience like the one I just had?

Now this gets me thinking.  I'm sure you've all heard it takes 30 days to create a habit, well guess what its true!  That is why it is important to exercise around the same time every day, at first you will lack the motivation to come in or it might just seem like a hassle.  However, if you know that you have a set routine every day (drop the kids off at 8:30, go to the supermarket at 9:15, nail appointment at 10:15 etc) then it should be easy enough for you to be able to set aside time to hit the weights.  If you have 2 hours to kill between soccer practice and ballet class, why not take that time to take care of yourself?  Once it becomes part of your routine it will no longer be a hassle but will slowly transition into a lifestyle.  Guaranteed you'll have more energy to play with your kids, you'll sleep better and wake up better as well.  We complain that our lives are always routine, but if it was crazy every day then we'd all have gray hair and bags under our eyes at age 20.  Routine doesn't have to be bad, its what you make of it and how creative you are that keeps life interesting.

Trust me, when you've passed the point of working out being a "chore" and you've reached the point where its "lifestyle" it will make a world a difference.  Just give yourself time... after all, we weren't born knowing everything, right?  How did we get to where we are today? By making mistakes, taking chances and learning from other people.  Your life is an investment worth making, learn the right way to exercise from day one and you'll soon learn to love it as much as I do!  The most important lesson is to STICK WITH IT! :0)

Diva's Half Marathon!

This past Sunday (Oct 3) I had the pleasure of volunteering to help out with the first ever Diva's Half Marathon that took place out in Long Island.  It was a chilly morning, overcast and extremely windy.  Even though I was wearing 4 layers I was still freezing!  Anyway, this blog is not about me; its about the power of persistence and dedication that you can achieve if you put your mind to something.

The participants of the Diva' Half Marathon are all truly amazing.  Being a half marathoner myself, I understand the time, dedication and training that is required in order to take part in one of these races.  I was fortunate to volunteer at the finish line because I wanted to watch these women as they crossed that line, either for the 1st time ever or their 30th time.  The winner of the Diva's Half Marathon finished with an amazing time of 1:24, which is roughly a 6.5 minute mile.  If that's not amazing, I'm not sure what is!  It was truly inspiring to watch the expression on these women's faces; some were of pain, some were of extreme joy, and some were of pure concentration and focus!  I'd like to thank all of the participants and volunteers of this event for their hard work, dedication and commitment to being the best you can be.

As I've mentioned, being a half marathoner myself, the support from the spectators and volunteers for this race, and any race (marathons, triathlons, ironman, etc) truly makes the world of a difference.  It is so amazing that there are people in this world that like to give back to something that is larger than them.  Just seeing these people out here freezing in the rain or shivering in the wind helps pick you up when you feel like you're ready to give up.  Words can't express how grateful I personally was to see those strangers faces smiling and congratulating me as I crossed the finish line.

The point of my blog is to let everyone know that with hard work and dedication things can be achieved.  When we feel like giving up that is when you must be the strongest.  Change can be made but you must believe in yourself in order for it to happen.

Congratulations to all the racers of the Diva's Half Marathon


www.carlabissifitness.com

Interval workout of the month

Intervals... yes, they are great to burn those few extra calories if you're crunched on time.  Here is a great interval workout that I've created to spice up your cardio workout:

Tredmill Interval


activity   time      speed    incline
walk       5 mins   3.8       0
jog         1 min     5.4       0
run         3 mins   6.4       0
jog         1 min     5.4       1
run         3 mins   6.5       1
jog         1 min     5.4       1
run         3 mins   6.6       2
jog         1 min     5.4       2
run         3 mins   6.7       2
Repeat 2x
walk       5 mins   3.8       0


*Note: This exercise is not recommended for beginners with no previous experience on a tredmill.  Not recommended for those with knee or back injuries.  Please use caution while exercising and stop immediately if you feel faint or dizzy*

Monday, October 4, 2010

Music makes the difference.... between a good workout and a crappy one!

It's funny how music just has a way to take over... whether you're pissed, sad, or happy, music has a way of healing.  I'm currently listening to my new craze- Ne-Yo's "One in a Million".  I love this song because it is very Michael Jackson inspired.  Ne-Yo's voice is very soothing and the music in the background makes you move your body from side to side.  There's a billion dance moves that I'd like to put together to this song.  If you haven't heard this song, be sure to do so ASAP!!

Anyway,  I just wanted to quickly talk about how music has such an inspiration on you when you are exercising.  There have been studies on music/fitness and the correlation of how great tunes will up your workout by an insane amount.  If you're not feeling inspired to go workout blast some good music and let your body groove to it. Now go hit the weights!!!!!!!

10/5- was just reading an article about music, thought I'd put it in here:
"Adding faster, more upbeat tunes to your iPod may help you to run harder and faster, according to new research published in the Journal of Sports Sciences.  It may also help reduce your rate of perceived exertion.  A study at the Exercise Physiology Laboratory at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, found that music can lower perceived exertion by up to 10 percent."  SEE WHAT DID I SAY?!
-taken from Six Guides for an Amazing New You (a supplement of Fitness Magazine)

Some songs that I love to run to:

New Boyz- Break My Bank
Hollis Brown- Bring It Down
Kesha- Take It Off
Sean Kingston- Fire Burning
Evanescence- Everybody's Fool

Be sure to check out Hollis Brown (a great indie band based out of Brooklyn!)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ball and a Band

Travel too much? Not enough time to work out? These are all the typical excuses I hear on a daily basis of why people don't work out.  If you have a stressful job, have crazy hours, or travel too much, why not have the workout come to you?

All you need is a ball and a band. Yup, its that easy!  These two simple pieces of equipment can give you a full body workout! Amazing, isn't it? Adios excuses, there's a new way to feel the burn. 

These pieces of equipment are great because they are lightweight and easily stored under your desk or in your suitcase.  Go out to the nearest Target, Sports Authority or Dick's Sporting Goods to find it.  Bring them with you on the plane, to the hotel, and even in your cubicle.

Ask me about full body exercises you can do right at your desk!  Visit my website at http://www.carlabissifitness.com/ for my contact information.