Thursday, March 28, 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013

good vs evil

they're not all bad for you...just learn the difference between good & bad, right & wrong, simple & complex!






























eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

the 15-minute at home no equipment needed workout

i really do want to trash all of your possible excuses, especially the most common one i hear:  but i don't have a gym close to my house and i don't have equipment at my house.  this workout is simple, can be done at home and requires no equipment.

excuse.  crushed.

there are lots of machines that can help you get slim and sculpted, but there's one that is sometimes overlooked:  you!

try this routine two or three times a week.  do the first move for 30 seconds, then do the second one for 30 seconds.  rest one minute; repeat three more times.  perform the third and fourth moves in this same pattern.  push yourself to do more reps during each successive workout.

photos and workout courtesy of women's health magazine.

Squat and Kick




stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, hands behind your head, and elbows out to the sides (a).  bend your knees and sit back as far as you can (b).  push back to start, then kick your right leg in front of you, foot flexed (c).  that's one rep.  repeat, kicking with your left leg, and continue, alternating.












Jumping Lunge



step forward with your left foot and lower into a lunge (a).  jump straight up off the floor (b), swinging your arms forward and switching your legs in midair, like scissors.  land in a lunge with your right leg forward (c).  that's one rep.















Stacked-Foot Pushup



get into a push-up position and place one foot on top of the other so that only the lower one supports your body (a).  lower yourself until your chest nearly touches the floor (b).  pause at the bottom and then push back to the starting position.












Cross-Body Mountain Climber



 get into a push-up position with your arms straight (a).  bring your right knee toward your left elbos (b), return to start, and then bring your left knee to you right elbow.  continue alternating legs at a fast pace.










eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

the fit beast feasts: oven-baked chicken parmesan

compared with a traditional deep-fried restaurant version, this recipe packs killer flavors with waist-line friendly macros.  try it.  you'll thank me.

ingredients for the sauce:
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 tbsp low-sodium tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 28-oz can organic unsalted whole tomatoes with juice
1 large sprig basil
1/4 tsp sea salt

ingredients for the chicken:
olive oil cooking spray
1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup whole-wheat panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 ounce grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded 1/2-inch thick
2 ounces low-fat grated italian cheese blend
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves

instructions:
prepare sauce: in a medium saucepan on medium heat, heat oil.  add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned, about 7 minutes.  add tomato paste, garlic oregano and red pepper flakes and stir until combined, about 1 minute.  add tomatoes and crush with a spoon.  add basil sprig.  bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 25 minutes.  remove from heat and discard basil.  carefully puree with an immersion blender, stir in salt and set aside.

prepare chicken:  preheat over to 400 degrees.  line a large baking sheet with foil and mist with cooking spray.  line up three wide, shallow bowls on a work surface.  to first bowl, add flour; to second bowl, add egg, egg white and black pepper and whisk to combine; to third bowl, add panko, parmesan, oregano, thyme and rosemary and stir to combine.  dip each breast in flour, shaking off excess, then quickly dip in egg and press into panko mixture, turning to coat all sides; transfer to sheet.  bake for 16-20 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink in center and juices run clear.  switch oven to broil setting.

mist a 3-qt baking dish with cooking spray and add chicken in a single layer.  spoon about 1/3 cup sauce over each piece and pour remaining sauce around chicken.  sprinkle italian cheese blend evenly over top.  transfer to center rack of oven and broil until cheese is melted, 2-4 minutes.  sprinkle with chopped basil.

try serving over whole-grain pasta for a complete, italian-inspired meal.

nutritional facts   before         after
calories              590            421
total fat (g)         31              10
sat. fat (g)          10              4
carbs (g)            39              23
fiber (g)             2                4
sugars (g)          14              5
protein (g)         39              53
sodium (mg)      1,260         562

you save 169 calories, 21 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, and 698 mg sodium

need any better reason to start eating clean?

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

Monday, March 18, 2013

what is clean eating?

the soul of clean eating is consuming food in it most natural state, or as close to it as possible.  it is not a diet; it's a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation, leading to an improved life...one meal at a time.

ever since i started incorporating clean eating into my diet, i've seen significant benefits.  while i find myself shopping more, since i buy fresh and eat fresh, i don't spend nearly as much as i used to on processed, packaged, old food.  having quality food around the house also makes me want to eat healthy foods more often, which helps to maintain habits and support muscle growth and development.

want to start incorporating a clean eating lifestyle into your routine but think it's too difficult?  i'll help.  it's easy.  i promise.

you should already be eating five to six times a day--three meals and two to three small snacks.  include a lean protein, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and a complex carbohydrate with each meal.  this keeps your body energized and burning calories efficiently all day long.

choose organic whenever possible.  if your budget limits you, make meat, eggs, dairy and the dirty dozen your organic priorities.  seriously, please follow that link and read about the foods you think are good for you  but may harming you because of pesticides.

drink at least two liters of water a day, preferably from a reusable container, not plastic.  we all need to be better friends to the environment and plastic bottles are not friendly!  make water your main beverage of choice.

get label savvy.  clean foods contain short ingredient lists.  any product with a long ingredient list is most likely human-made and not considered clean.

avoid processed and refined foods such as white flour, sugar, bread and past.  enjoy complex carbs such as whole grains instead.

consume healthy fats every day.

learn about portion sizes and work towards eating within them.

take it to go.  pack a cooler for work or outings so you always have clean eats on the go to support this new lifestyle.

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

Friday, March 15, 2013

it's friday, i'm in love: quest protein bars

well, stick a fork in me...i'm done.  i've found perfection in a protein bar and, no, it's not any of those crappy bars you find in your grocery store aisles that either taste disgusting or are virtually candy bars claiming to be healthy.  quest nutrition protein bars taste phenomenal and truly are good for you!!

with quest, you truly need to expect less.  no that's not a dis.  i love this bar because of what it doesn't have it in.  no sugar alcohols.  no sugar used.  no artificial sweeteners.  no gluten.  no glycerine.  no soy protein.  no junk ingredients.

these bars are truly designed for those of us who care about good nutrition...and good flavor!  their award-winning taste came out on top of every single blind taste test they've been in.  flavors range from their newest and most popular chocolate chip cookie dough, to chocolate brownie, vanilla almond crunch, apple pie, mixed berry bliss, my favorite coconut cashew, to even cinnamon roll and strawberry cheesecake.

when i first discovered quest bars, i immediately went to bodybuilding.com and bought one of every flavor.  though i wasn't planning on having them around to eat every day as a meal replacement, i knew they'd be great to keep in my purse, desk, laptop bag/mobile office, gym bag, and in my emergency food storage.  i've also kept them in my cookie jars as a reminder that i can still have a sweet treat every once in a while.  i gravitate towards the strawberry cheesecake, chocolate brownie, and coconut cashew the most and am known to throw them around to my favorite fit beasts at my gym.

all with only 4-6 grams of active carbs...from nuts, not sugar...these fiber rich bars will satisfy your sweet tooth and protein needs, so don't throw away your hard work by eating other nutrition bars that are thinly disguised candy bars in colorful wrappers.

it might be easier and/or cheaper to buy whatever you can find in your grocery store's health section, or you might fall prey to the gimmicky concept that granola bars are a good substitution.  just remember...garbage in, garbage out.  there is absolutely no garbage with quest.
























find quest bars in a store near you, buy through their online store, or my tried and true resource for all things healthy, bodybuilding.com

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

good day, sunshine!

you know how those first few minutes after you first wake up can be some of the worst?  i used to find myself hitting the snooze button, wishing i could transport myself back to whatever great dream i was in the middle of, or just wishing i could freeze time for a little more r&r, but now that i've incorporated this brief yoga sequence into my morning routine, i find myself a little more relaxed, calm, and stretched out.
try it out for the next few days!

























eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

myth busting raspberry ketones

ever since raspberry ketones were discussed on a popular yet, in my opinion, ridiculous daytime medical show, stores haven't been able to keep the supplements in stock, claiming it's the "number one miracle in a bottle to burn fat."

actually, it's nothing of the sort.

in reality, it's a whole lot of hype with very little substance.  here's why you shouldn't get sucked in to this fad:

raspberry ketones are the natural compounds found in raspberries that give them their pleasant smell.  they're chemically similar to capsaicin, the mouth-burning compound in hot peppers that is thought to have certain pain-relieving properties.  and sure, it may well turn out that raspberry ketones, like so many other compound isolates from plants, actually have some benefit.  in fact, one rat study showed that supplemental ketones protected rats against fatty liver disease.

there have only been a handful of small asian studies on raspberry ketones, which were all done on rats or on cells in test tubes.  one of the studies showed that the ketones increased secretion of a hormone called adiponectin, which helps to break down fat, while the other studies showed that high amounts of ketones protected the rats from fat gain while slightly increasing their fat burning.  but that tiny bit of preliminary research, promising as it may be, hardly justified the marketing of raspberry ketones as a "miracle" weight-loss product for humans.

so, instead of trying to find fat loss in a bottle, find it in a pair of well fitting athletic shoes, at the gym, on the streets with music pumping, and in clean eating.  enjoy some fresh raspberries in your morning oatmeal, topping low fat greek yogurt, blended in with a protein shake, or on their own, but please, don't waste your time, money, and hopes that buying a bottle of raspberry ketones will help you get healthy.

oh, and please stop believing everything that daytime doctor says.  please.  i beg of you.

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

Monday, March 11, 2013

a brand new day

one of my favorite things about "monday" is that it starts a new week with a clean slate.  regardless of how i may have worked or not worked in the gym, or how well i ate, i can start my week anew when that alarm starts ringing monday morning.  but this fresh start isn't reserved just for mondays.  every day is an opportunity to do better, be better, do more, be more, and succeed.  there's no better time to start making your life better than in this very moment but the frustrating lack of know-how in regards of that first step can make you retreat back in to that cozy yet unhealthy comfort zone. guess what?  i have a secret for you.  even the fittest of fit people had to start somewhere with very limited knowledge and resources.  you can be just like them.  it's easy.  take that first step, just like they did.

transforming your life, body, mind, and lifestyle can be so incredibly intimidating.  please believe me when i say that i understand that...even though i make it sound easy and fun, i know that it comes with hard work, frustration, challenges, etc.  but the rewards.  gosh.  so worth it.

make the change, even through the easiest of steps.  literally.  go for a walk around the neighborhood with your spouse, siblings, children, or neighbors.  get moving.  start doing it every day.  eventually the distance that made your lungs ache and heart race will be a simple warm-up and you'll double your distance.  then, the day that you're sick of walking and pick up the pace to a jog, and then a run....you'll hate me when you start falling in love with and buying new running shoes all the time.  try it for a little while and then look back at how easy it was to incorporate that into your life.  not so hard, right?  i know you'll agree if you do it!

i really have no clue who reads my blogs.  i see the statistics and know that there are visitors to my site, but i probably don't know you.  i don't know your struggles, weaknesses, strengths, or goals.  i don't know how hard it might be for you to physically get off that couch and how it's even harder for you to even walk around the block.  i don't know how easy it is, on the flip-side of this coin, to get out there and run a marathon or participate in a triathlon.  but i do know that regardless of your weight, fitness level, athletic ability, and bench press weight, we are all the same.  we all have moments where we don't want to, where we don't think we can, where we doubt ourselves, where we think it's going to be too hard.  try not to let the "don't" and "doubt" take over.  you're stronger than you think.  your body just might be a little tired but trust me, you can do a little more.

the change is up to you.  however hard you're willing to work will merit the most amazing results.  start today.  i know you can do it.

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

the fit beast feasts: herb roasted red potatoes

besides pioneer ancestry that helped settle the state that gained popularity through napoleon dynamite, my love of idaho runs deep.

at the age of 17, i moved from phoenix, arizona, to a seemingly rural farm town to attend college.  i remember pulling up to the city limits and seeing abandoned trucks and farm equipment all over the place.  i begged my dad to turn the truck around.  he didn't.

for the next few years, i experienced freezing tundra-like winters, bone chilling winds, beautiful summers, and loads of potatoes from local farms.  my white mashed potatoes would magically turn yellow when i'd add pounds of butter to them.  i loved them.  there was something so comforting about mashed potatoes and they became a staple in my unhealthy college diet.  i, also, wound up falling madly in love with the state...before napoleon.

potatoes have gotten a bad rap, mostly because of the deep fried versions that clog our arteries and the fact that they're the main vegetable kids eat anymore, but honestly, they're not all that bad for us.  potatoes are one of the more calorie-rich vegetables but they still have the same nutritional benefits that lighter veggies do.  fat and cholesterol free, they're ideal foods to include in your diet if you're trying to slim down.  one of my favorite potatoes to include in my lean and clean diet are red potatoes.

red potatoes are rich in fiber and loaded with vitamins and minerals.  fiber-rich veggies, like red potatoes, reduce your risk of obesity and cut your risks of having a heart attack, kidney stones, strokes, diabetes, bone loss and cancer.  just don't rely solely on potatoes at the expense of other healthy vegetables.  make it your goal to eat more fresh produce-based complex carbohydrates, over potatoes whenever possible.  but if you're craving a little starch and can afford it in your diet, try out my herb roasted red potatoes!

ingredients
2 pounds red potatoes, washed and quartered
2 tsp dried rosemary
salt
olive oil

directions
place your baking sheet in the oven to preheat right along with the oven to 375 degrees.  the end result will yield a crispier potato that i can't resist.
in a large bowl, toss together the potatoes, salt, and rosemary.  drizzle in only enough olive oil to lightly coat the potatoes.
once the oven and baking sheet are heated, dump the potatoes onto the baking sheet.  they'll immediately start to sizzle, cook, and crisp up (rather than taking forever on a cold baking sheet).
bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until potatoes are tender and crisp.

yields 8 servings

nutritional facts, per serving
calories  126
fat (g)  1.84
carbohydrates (g)  18
protein (g)  2.14

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.



Saturday, March 9, 2013

get swole saturday

see it.  do it.  at least twice.  start your day off right!































eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

Friday, March 8, 2013

a thankful beast

i just looked over my blog statistics and since starting this blog about 3 weeks ago, there have been almost 1,000 views.  considering that another creative writing blog of mine has been out there for well over a year and has just over 1,000 views, i'm feeling rather happy about this!

i'm no expert.  i'm not a professional.  but i do have passion.  thank you for letting me share that passion with you.

spread the fit beast gospel.  add me to your blog lists and share me with your friends.  let's all get healthy and happy!!!

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

it's friday, i'm in love: optimum nutrition platinum-pre



i don't throw out the "l" word frivolously or carelessly.  that's a big word.  heavy.  intense.  in my opinion, it should only be used in the most sincere and genuine circumstances.  this is one of them.

i love you platinum pre.  very much.  i love you, optimum nutrition, for making this product.

if you're already a beast in the gym, you probably know the value of taking a pre before you hit the weights.  pre supplements are known to help you maximize your time in the gym by supporting mental alertness and focus, increasing energy levels, circulating oxygen flow in the muscle tissue, and giving you massive vascular pumps. i've tried my share of pre supplements and platinum pre gives me the best results in the form of explosive energy, determined focus, and massive pumps.

you'll have an intense experience with a single scoop of platinum-pre. 200 mg of caffeine will pump up your energy and focus levels.  2 g of l-citrulline supports performance during high-intensity exercises with an exclusive patent-pending peptide delivery system.  1.6 g of beta-alanine truly helps with your endurance. "beta-alanine is a key building block for carnosine - a compound that helps neutralize acidic byproducts generated during high-intensity training.  research shows that daily supplementation increases muscle carnosine levels, supporting harder and longer training sessions."  take two scoops of platinum-pre for an extreme experience, and extreme level of energy, and an extreme pump.

i've been taking platinum pre for several months now and never feel the fatigue set in regardless of the intensity of my workout.  the tingle in my hands when it starts working almost courses commitment and dedication through my veins.  no, i'm not being dramatic...i really do feel like i can handle any set, any amount of reps, any weight, any level of intensity.  it works so well, in fact, that the first time i took it my biceps were noticeably bigger and pumped up after my workout that i had to measure them.  1 inch pump from my workout.  it was awesome.  it still is.

available in several flavors, i've tried fruit punch and raspberry lemonade.  i find the raspberry lemonade easier flavor-wise and the fruit punch a little more intense.  but i'd gladly drink any flavor!

mix each scoop with 6-10 ounces of cold water and consume immediately.  start with 1 scoop or less to assess your tolerance.  i like to take mine 15-30 minutes prior to hitting the gym.

if you're thinking of incorporating a pre supplement into your fitness routine, this is the one.

240 GramsRaspberry Lemonade
Serving Size1Scoop(8g)
Servings Per Container30
Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
Calories5
Total Carbohydrate1g<1%*
Protein<1g1%*
Vitamin C (As Ascorbic Acid, Acerola Extract)100mg167%
Sodium60mg3%
Potassium (As Potassium Chloride)70mg2%
L-Citrulline (As Micronized L-Citrulline, PepForm® Citrulline Peptides [L-Citrulline, Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate])2g
CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine1.6g
DMAE Bitartrate250mg
PhytoBlend - Beet Juice Powder, Grape Seed Extract (Vitis Vinifera)(Seeds), MegaNatural® Red Wine Grape Extract (Vitis Vinifera)(Fruit), Citrus Bioflavonoids250mg
Caffeine200mg
Capsimax™ Capsicum Extract (Capsicum Annuum)(Fruit)(Standardized For Capsaicinoids)125mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
† Daily Value not established
Other Ingredients:
Citric Acid, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Malic Acid, Silicon Dioxide, Calcium Silicate, Sucralose, Lecithin, Acesulfame Potassium.
Allergen Information:
Contains Milk And Soy (Lecithin) Ingredients.

available for purchase: bodybuilding.com, optimumnutrition.com
bodybuilding.com is running a stellar deal on platinum-pre right now, so get the most bang for your buck through them.

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

t.g.i.flex friday

this has to be getting easier for you.  i'll bet you're actually thinking about venturing into a gym and figuring out how to use those machine-things.   you'll get there.  just tell yourself that you can.

do this 3 times.

why?

because i said so!





















eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

think thin thursday

only two more days to go, beasts!

i dare you to do this two times.

no, three times.

you can do it.

i know you can!
























eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

just speaking the truth

i couldn't help myself...got a total kick out of this.

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

don't wimp out wednesday

seriously, these aren't that hard.  keep it up, beasts!































eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

tuesday-time to train

no excuses, today.  you can do this, beasts!

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

Monday, March 4, 2013

motivation monday

in case you needed a little extra motivation but lacked direction on how and what to train this week, check back now through Saturday because here you go!  get out there and train, beasts!
eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

the fit beast feasts: 3 bean turkey chili

once you try this recipe for yourself, you'll understand why i don't really feel the need to sell it to you.  if you never try any of my past/future recipes, please, just trust me on this one and make this.





ingredients
2 lbs. extra lean ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 tablespoon garlic powder
8 ounces of diced green chilies
15 ounce can organic tri-bean blend, drained and rinsed
15 ounce can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
14.5 ounce can organic diced tomatoes, do not drain
1 tablespoon xylitol brown sugar blend
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoons white vinegar
3 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt

1.  in a large pot, add onions and ground turkey.  season with garlic powder and cook until no longer pink.  drain excess fat.
2.  add the green chilies, rinsed beans, tomatoes, xylitol brown sugar, and spices.  stir until well combined.
3.  bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer for about 10 minutes

makes 10 servings.
per serving:  196 calories, 1 g fat, 20 g carbohydrates, 24 g protein

please, let me know if you try this recipe and like it!!

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

lighten up!

adapted from the new and improved diet: 8 rules to lose weight and change your life forever by keri glassman, m.s., r.d., c.d.n., with sarah mahoney (rodale, 2012), available wherever books are sold.

thinking about losing weight is anything but relaxing.  though i have a far better understanding and knowledge of what that entails than i did a year ago, i still feel the anxiety build up a little in my stomach.

you have to worry about what to eat, when to eat, when to work out, and whether your effort will even pay off...among other things.  suggesting that you relax during this process is as comical as your nurse saying it before stabbing you with a needle.

but hear me out: our basic inability to relax is the reason most diets fail.  when we're stressed, we're much more vulnerable.  maybe we eat emotionally.  or maybe, because of a stressful life change, even a positive one, we get so busy that exercise becomes a memory.

stress, like a roll of fat above your waistband, isn't easy to shed.  but by learning a few key ways to slow down, put yourself first, and yes, relax, you can get both under control for good.

the "you first" epidemic
we all have times when we're bound to fall into a self-neglect rut, but lately it seems to be almost an epidemic.  most of us believe that the levels of stress in our lives is increasing but only a few of us think that we're handling it well.  and this problems affects women more than men.

you've probably heard of cortisol.  in and of itself, cortisol isn't a bad thing.  our bodies use it to maintain blood pressure, and it plays a role in the way we metabolize fats and carbs for energy.  the trouble happens when we are under chronic stress and secrete too much cortisol for our bodies to break down properly.  a common side effect of extra cortisol is increased appetite.  our bodies want extra energy when we're stressed so we can, for example, sprint through the airport when we're late for a flight.

being constantly hungry is bad enough, but cortisol also tends to direct pounds to accumulate in the abdomen, rather than the hips, and we all know that belly fat is closely linked to heart disease and strokes.  is that a good enough reason to minimize your stress?

the real way to treat yourself
part of the problem is that we seem to have forgotten how to pamper ourselves.  it's safe to assume that a logical reason people gain weight is because they they translate the words "be good to yourself, you deserve it" into "splurge".  food is an easy solution.  it's fast, cheap, and provides instant gratification.  maybe that's why researchers have found a persistent connection between poor self-care, low self-esteem, and binge eating.

when you're neglecting yourself, certain foods may seem nurturing.  they may even make you feel good as long as you're chewing and swallowing.  but that feeling quickly fades and is replaced with distress, unhappiness, and regret.  although the eating started out as a way to soothe you, it mutated into a self-destructive guilt-a-thon.

recognize that pampering yourself means eating healthy foods, not unhealthy ones.

breathe your way thin
one of the most effective ways to manage stress is also one of the simplest:  just breathe.  you hear this a lot in yoga class, but you don't need a mat to practice it.  simply set a timer for 8 minutes and find a comfortable seated position.  now begin.

inhale for a slow count of 8, hold, and then exhale for a count of 8.  the first few times you try this, your mind will likely wander....meditative adhd.  be patient.  even the most serene gurus on the planet have this problem.  when you notice thoughts or resistance creeping in, just return to counting your breaths.  if you lose track, start over.

when the eight minutes are up, stop.  shooting for 8 minutes a day is an amazing first step.  experts say health benefits kick in with as little as five minutes of practice.  and researchers at massachusetts general found that after an 8-week mindfulness meditation program, averaging 27 minutes a day (honestly, who doesn't spend at least twice that much time on facebook?), participants actually changed their brains so that they became less reactive to tension.  in other words, they stress-proofed themselves!

in conclusion, play back the last 24 hours and list every nice thing you've done---for yourself.  can't think of anything, you need pampering, stat.  take a bath, listen to a favorite song, or use your best hand lotion.  food feeds your body, but don't forget to feed your soul, too.

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

are you a diet burnout?

feeling demoralized, emotionally hollow, and exhausted doesn't only happen when you're in a career or relationship slump, it can happen in your dieting life, too.  if you've started and stalled on a series of exercise routines, diets, and self-improvement plans, you can get to the point where it doesn't seem like anything can help.  are you afflicted?

your cravings:
a.  annoying but in check
b.  if i don't get some mac 'n' cheese right now, things could get ugly

eating a salad:
a.  yum! what kind of dressing?
b.  booooooring.  please, no more lettuce.  ever.  i'm no rabbit.

the scale:
a.  my weight might not be perfect, but it's healthy or headed there.
b.  stuck.  my weight has hit a frustrating plateau.

your web browser:
a.  a new cat video every week.
b.  a new diet plan every week.

grocery shopping:
a.  i go once or twice a week.
b.  just thinking about reading one more label is exhausting.

a new restaurant for dinner:
a.  i've been wanting to try it!
b.  i'll pass.  it's hard to get excited about eating lately.

scoring:
if you got mostly a's, your attitude towards weight loss is a healthy one.  keep it up!
if you got mostly b's, your boredom with food and frustration with the bathroom scale are clear indicators that you're at the end of your dieting rope.  but don't worry, this burnout is curable!!  check back tomorrow for some advice on a fresh start!

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

Friday, March 1, 2013

it's friday, i'm in love: bpi sports blox

it's safe to assume that the design aesthetic in my house is reflective of a boutique style with various collections staged in a manner that make them coordinate yet still not make much sense.  my entry hallway is dotted with hardware from anthropologie.  the living room currently has about 4 dozen fresh cut roses arranged in miss-matched vases.  the wall leading upstairs doesn't have a single framed family picture but a collection of matthew berkley's "well dressed animals" series. and the kitchen...my favorite room in the house...where do i begin?!?  from various bakers racks covered in nesting bowls, latte bowls in a myriad of colors, fishs eddy glassware, and italian glass jars, to the every-growing hardcover cookbook collection atop the kitchen cabinets, my kitchen is truly a melting pot of design, style, and function.  a vintage ceramic strawberry cookie jar houses my sugar-free bubble gum (a gym must-have).  a pewter skull cookie jar guards my favorite protein bars (to be reviewed/featured at a future time), and one gorgeous bulbous italian glass jar holds what's most precious to me:  all of the fabulous samples i receive.

there seems to be a never-ending supply of most supplements in the jar, but one that i can't seem to get enough of lately is blox, by bpi sports.

this ultra concentrated blend of saas (silk amino acids) helps to prolong maximum workout time by increasing muscle volume.  it also helps to prevent tissue injury and preserves anti-fatigue energy sources.  saa also increases the blood concentration of testosterone.  and it tastes pretty good, too!

but what are saas and why are they about to redefine the way you train, the way you feel, and the way you look?  silk amino acids are a chain of eighteen plus particular amino acids and although they have been used for millennia in traditional chinese medicine, research is suddenly putting them in the spotlight today.  these polypeptides have been suggested to promote muscle hypertrophy and muscle endurance, as well as support healthy body composition, promote natural testosterone and support healthy cortisol levels already in normal range.  they have even been suggested to offer antioxidant support.

i'm not here to say that saas are better than bcaas...we're talking very different products here...but what i am here to say is that i can't get enough of these good-for-me building blocks.  with my six days a week in the gym, and related 12-18 hours spent shaping my body, i'm all for any product that safely helps my muscles recover and grow, and keeps my endurance levels up.

flavors include: blue raspberry, fruit punch, watermelon, lemonade, and orange.  my favorites are fruit punch and watermelon.  and yes, i've tried them all.  the orange made me wish for more flavor and that's about the only negative i can say about this product.

stay tuned for next weeks' review of a great pre-workout supplement by thefitbeast's newest contributing writer, campbell!!

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.
1 ServingFruit Punch
Serving Size5Grams(1packet)
Servings Per Container1
Amount Per Serving% Daily Value
SAA SEQUENCED PROTEINS™3,960mg**
(Alanine, Glycine, Serine, Valine, Threonine)
** Daily Value not established
Other Ingredients:
Citric Acid, Taurine, Silica, Natural & Artificial Flavors, Acesulfame-K, Sucralose, & FD&C Red No. 10.

available for purchase at the following:  bodybuilding.com, bpisports.net, amazon.com

if you frequently purchase products from bodybuilding.com, like this girl does, make sure you check out their free samples page before check-out.  blox has been featured on there and this would be a great way to sample it for yourself.