5 Ingredient Meal!

I always tell people that eating healthy is not hard and it shouldn’t have to be. I came up with this super easy salad randomly one day. It has a lean protein, healthy fat, veggie, fruit, and a tasty vinaigrette. It will take you less than 10 minutes to throw together. Perfect for lunch or dinner!

Ingredients

1 apple- chopped into bite size pieces

1 handfull of chicken – I used Trader Joe’s Just Chicken pre-packaged in refrigerated section.

1/2 an avocado – diced

2-3 cups of green cabbage – I used Trader Joe’s already chopped and ready to use.

Cindy’s Kitchen Raspberry Nectar Vinaigrette – Found at Whole Foods. If you don’t have this try a gluten free, dairy free vinaigrette of your choice.

Directions

1. Chop apple. Slice avocado in half, discard center, and chop one half.

2. Place 2-3 cups of green cabbage in bowl. Add diced chicken, avocado, and apple.

3. Toss with vinaigrette. Keep it on the light side 3-4 tablespoons should be plenty.

4. ENJOY!

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Meet Laura! Client success story!

I met Laura at a bridal event at Annapolis Maritime Museum in 2012. In our first meeting we discussed her goals – losing weight, toning up, developing healthy eating habits, and sticking with an exercise routine. Laura was extremely dedicated to achieving her goals. She dialed in her diet, challenged herself with heavy weights, and showed up ready to work hard. Clients like Laura are reasons why I love my job. Check out Laura’s story!

Healthy Butternut Squash Soup

It’s fall! There is nothing better than a delicious and healthy soup on a chilly fall day. Avoid the extra calories by eliminating the heavy cream but not sacrificing the taste. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients – This soup is paleo!

  • 1 whole Butternut Squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 quart chicken stock, choose free range and organic
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp organic coconut oil

Directions

  1. Sauté chopped onion in coconut oil in a large pot.
  2. Add in cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  3. Add chopped butternut squash to pot, and pour in broth.
  4. Boil the butternut squash in the broth until tender.
  5. Puree soup in a food processor or high-speed blender until smooth. I used an immersion blender which was very easy.
  6. Garnish with a sprinkling of cinnamon and chopped walnuts.

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Ring, Ring…it’s the gym calling.

Is your cellphone controlling your workout? We have all been guilty of this. Think of the time you waste checking texts, Facebook, and cruising the internet a day. You will still be able to check all of your apps post workout. Put down the phone and increase the intensity!

Researchers from Kent State University interviewed 305 college students about their cellphone use and physical activity. The people who spent the most time using their phones were the least active—even though half of highest-frequency users said that their smartphone addictions didn’t make them move any less.

In the second part of the study, 49 of the students took a cardiovascular fitness test. Not surprisingly, those who used their phones the most were also the least physically fit.

The more time you spend on your phone, the less time you have to do other things, including exercise—unless, of course, you use your phone at the gym. Past research shows that people run faster on a treadmill when they use their cell phones to listen to music—but that doing anything else on it will likely slow you down. Don’t let your phone run your life. Put down the cell phone and get moving!

Happy Hump Day,

Priscilla

Metabolic Monday

Happy Monday!

Kick your week off to a great start with an awesome high intensity interval training workout. You will be done in 20 minutes and will be feeling energized. Best part is you will continue to burn calories up to 24 hours after you’re done working out. Good luck!

1. Suicides

2. T push-ups with rotation

3. Squat jumps

4.  Burpees

Complete 45 seconds of work followed by 35 seconds of rest for 4 rounds.

Have a great week,

Priscilla

Warm Weather Hydration Guidelines

It’s summer and here in Maryland it’s been a hot one. My outdoor bootcamps are in full force and everyone is working hard. I always encourage my clients to bring water and stay hydrated. It’s great getting out in the fresh air, but it’s important to take the proper steps to protect you from fatigue and heat-related diseases.  Here are a few tips to help get you ready to head outside.

Hydrate

Beginning a workout fully hydrated or even “hyperhydrating” (hydrating to a greater degree than normal) before a workout can delay dehydration during exercise, maintain exercise performance and decrease the risk for heat-related illnesses.

Pre-exercise fluid intake enhances your ability to control body temperature and increases plasma volume to maintain cardiac output. You should drink enough fluids before exercising in the heat to begin every workout fully hydrated, and you should continue to drink during workouts longer than 1 hour. (See next section for specific guidelines of what to drink.)

A good indicator of your hydration levels is urine color. The lighter the urine color, the better the level of hydration. Your urine should look like lemonade rather than apple juice.  

What Should You Drink?

FLUIDS

Before Exercise. Drink 500 milliliters (ml) 2 hours before exercise.

During Exercise. Drink about 200 ml every 15–20 minutes, aiming to match fluid intake to sweat loss. Maintain 400–600 ml of fluid in the stomach to optimize gastric emptying.

After Exercise. Drink 1 liter (L) per kilogram (kg) of weight lost during exercise.

SODIUM
Sodium intake is necessary only if exercise lasts more than 60 minutes or if you have a sodium deficiency. Before, during and after exercise, consume 0.5–0.7 gram (g) per L of fluid.

GLYCEROL
Drinks that contain glycerol cause fluid retention. This effect facilitates hyperhydration, protects against dehydration and maintains core body temperature.

Acclimatize
Chronically exposing yourself to a hot and humid environment simulates adaptations that lesson the stress. Cardiovascular adaptations to exercising in the heat are nearly complete within 3–6 days. Full acclimatization becomes complete after 2 weeks as the increased sweating response catches up to the other adaptations. Therefore, take 2 weeks of slowly introducing yourself to the heat to be fully acclimatized and prepared for prolonged continuous exercise.

Stay hydrated,

Priscilla

 

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Why Women Need Weight Training

Again and again, research has shown that women who maintain a regular, moderate strength training program benefit from a long list of health advantages. Some still fear that weight training might bulk them up in unfeminine ways; however, as women of all ages realize the benefits of resistance training, negative attitudes about women in the weight training room are rapidly fading, according to renowned strength training researcher William J. Kraemer, PhD, of Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

Weight training expert and researcher Wayne Westcott, PhD, from the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts, gives 10 important reasons why weight training for women needs to be taken seriously:

1. Weight Training Will Help You Lose More Fat Than You’ll Gain in Muscle. Westcott and his colleagues have done numerous weight training studies involving thousands of women and have never had anyone complain about bulking up. In fact, Westcott’s research shows that the average woman who strength trains two to three times a week for eight weeks gains 1.75 pounds of lean weight or muscle and loses 3.5 pounds of fat. Unlike men, women typically don’t gain size from strength training, because compared to men, women have 10 to 30 times less of the hormones that cause bulking up, explains Kraemer.

2. Weight Training Will Help Your New Muscle Fight Obesity.As you add muscle from strength training, your resting metabolism will increase, so you’ll burn more calories all day long, notes Westcott. For each pound of muscle you gain, you’ll burn 35 to 50 more calories daily. So, for example, if you gain three pounds of muscle and burn 40 extra calories for each pound, you’ll burn 120 more calories per day, or approximately 3,600 more calories per month. That equates to a loss of 10 to 12 pounds in one year!

3. Weight Training Will Make You Stronger. Westcott’s studies indicate that a moderate weight training program increases a woman’s strength by 30 to 50 percent. Extra strength will make it easier to accomplish some daily activities, such as lifting children or groceries. Kraemer notes that most strength differences between men and women can be explained by differences in body size and fat mass; pound for pound, women can develop their strength at the same rate as men.

4. Your Bones Will Benefit From Weight Training. By the time you leave high school, you have established all the bone mineral density you’ll ever have–unless you strength train, says Westcott. Research has found that weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density by 13 percent in six months. So strength training is a powerful tool against osteoporosis.

5. Weight Training Will Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes. Adult-onset diabetes is a growing problem for women and men. Research indicates that weight training can increase glucose utilization in the body by 23 percent in four months.

6. Weight Training Will Fight Heart Disease. Strength training will improve your cholesterol profile and blood pressure, according to recent research. Of course, your exercise program should also include cardiovascular exercise and flexibility training.

7. Weight Training Will Beat Back Pain and Fight Arthritis. A recent 12-year study showed that strengthening the low-back muscles had an 80 percent success rate in eliminating or alleviating low-back pain. Other studies have indicated that weight training for women can ease arthritis pain and strengthen joints.

8. Weight Training Will Help You Be a Better Athlete. Westcott has found that strength training improves athletic ability. Golfers, for example, significantly increase their driving power. Whatever your sport of choice, strength training may not only improve your proficiency but also decrease your risk of injury.

9. Weight Training Will Work No Matter How Old You Are.Westcott has successfully trained numerous women in their 70s and 80s, and studies show that strength improvements are possible at any age. Note, however, that a strength training professional should always supervise older participants.

10. Weight Training Will Strengthen Your Mental Health. A Harvard study found that 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than standard counseling did, Westcott says. Women who strength train commonly report feeling more confident and capable as a result of their training program.

Remember to pick up those weights and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.

-Priscilla

Workplace Weight Gain

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The photo above is a group of co-workers that I train who work out Tuesday and Thursdays in their office parking lot in Annapolis.

The workplace is filled with people trying to lose weight. However, desktop candy cars and workplace socials will have you indulging in more calories than you need. Don’t sabotage your success in the gym with mindless social eating. Here are a few tips to help keep you on track both in and outside your office.

1. Put a lid on the goodies. When there are office socials choose snacks or fruits that are healthy.

2. When dining out with a co-worker split portions.

3. Avoid desktop dining. If you are sitting at your desk snacking make sure you are munching on fruit, nuts, and healthy options. Remember to drink water which will help keep you full between meals.

4. Exercise on your lunch hour. Keep a pair of sneakers under your desk and get out for a 30 minute walk. It will help you burn calories and get your focused for the rest of the work day.

5. Find co-workers who also want to exercise and start your own class or boot camp. There are many training options for groups and it is less expensive than one-on-one training. You are also more likely to stay motivated and accountable if you are participating with friends.

Happy Hump Day,

Priscilla

Want Abs? Stop the crunches….

Everyone always asks me about what they can do to have abs. I never say more crunches. Crunches are actually a waste of time and are doing more harm than good. Try eating clean and having an exercise program that works your entire core. Read below to find out more about why you should not be doing sit-ups!

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1. It causes damage to your back. Dr. Richard Guyer, president of the Texas Back Institute says, “the “full flex” movement—the actual “crunch” part of crunches – puts an unhealthy strain on your back at its weakest point. The section with the most nerves (and most potential for nerve damage) is in the back of the spine, which is the very part that bends and strains during a sit-up.”  Of course, no one ever does just one sit-up so think about the amount of strain you are doing by flexing your spine and bending the disk over and over again, that nucleus slowly breaches the layers and causes a disk bulge, or a disk herniation.

2. You aren’t training your entire core. When you do a sit-up the rectus abdominus muscles is the most targeted. When the rectus abdominus is worked it actually gives your  stomach an extended look. To get the long, lean look, one needs to work transverse abdominius, a large muscle that holds in the rectus abs, and is mainly unchallenged by sit-up and crunches.

3. Functional Training. You need to train your abs for what they are designed to do, bracing and supporting the spine not flexing. Dr. Guyer says, “You have your back extenders, your flexors, which are belly muscles, you have your oblique muscles. Working the core is essential to both back health and general athleticism.”

4. HIIT Training and Nutrition. It won’t matter if you have a muscular core if your body fat is still high. Add in high intensity interval training that will work your core and put you in a fat burning zone. Keep your diet in check and eat clean. 90 percent of having abs is a good diet!

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What to try? Planks, push-ups, TRX roll outs, and russian twists!

Have a great week,

Priscilla

HIIT Thursday!

HIIT Workout
Try this workout today! It will be sure to make you sweat in no time. Make sure to keep your speed and intensity up! Use a timer and do 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest. Repeat circuit 4 times.
1. Squat Jumps
2. Spiderman Push-ups
3. Sprints
4.  Prisoner Lunges or Lunge Jump
5. Overhead Press with kettlebell or dumbbells
 
Good luck,
 
Priscilla