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!

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.

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!

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.


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


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!


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!

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.

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!