10 Reasons to Eat Organically—and Locally

Guest Post by  Steve Edwards Team Beachbody 

“Think globally, act locally” isn’t just for bumper stickers anymore. This grassroots politics–type slogan has become an important way of thinking about where your next meal should come from. But the implications here are far more than political. Buying local—as well as organic—foods allows you to protect your family by feeding them in the safest way possible. Here are 10 reasons to add “visit the local farmers’ market” to the top of your to-do list each week.

Local foods are safer.

Or at least you can find out if they are. Organic food standards are high, but there are still companies out there attempting to cloud the rules. When you buy locally, it’s easier to check out what you’re buying, and you won’t have to hire Magnum, P.I. to do it. The great thing about local media is that they love to cover this stuff. If for any reason a local farm is mixed up in nefarious activities, there’s a good chance your paper has a reporter dreaming of a gig at The New York Times who’ll be on the job for you. Even if this isn’t the case, you can be inquisitive at the farmers’ markets—you’ll be surprised how quickly you can get up to date on the local scoop. Farmers who adhere to a strict code of ethics love to talk about others who do, and those who don’t.

Organic foods are safer.

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Organic certification standards are the public’s assurance that their food and products have been grown and handled according to sustainable procedures, without toxic, synthetic, irradiated, or genetically modified elements, including chemical fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics, and other additives. At least that’s what the law says. But even though many companies still cheat the system, most of them play by the rules. These rules are in place to help both soil longevity and the health and safety of the consumer. Many Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Now, the EPA considers 60 percent of all herbicides, 90 percent of all fungicides, and 30 percent of all insecticides, none of which meet organic criteria, to potentially cause cancer. You can’t always be certain you’re getting safe food, but eating organic foods stacks the odds in your favor.

Organic food tastes better.

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Many people would be amazed to taste the difference between garden-grown fruits and vegetables (and wild meat) and the offerings you find down at your local mega-grocery-mart. The main reason for this disparity has to do with something called trophic levels, which is determined by where plants and animals fall on the food chain. When food—even natural food—is manufactured, as when plants are grown in poor soil with some added nutrients, or animals are raised using drugs and a non-native diet, their physiological chemistry is altered. This doesn’t just change their nutrient content—it changes the way they taste.

Organic food is more nutritious

—which stands to reason, based on the whole trophic levels thing. When soils are depleted and then fertilized, only certain nutrients are added with fertilizers. This results in the loss of many of the plants’ original phytonutrients. While these lost phytonutrients aren’t necessarily a major component of any individual plant, they add up in your diet and become a major component of who you are. This lack of phytonutrients in the plants in our diets has a lot to do with many modern-day maladies. With regard to meat, it’s basically the same story. Animals that are fed a poor diet are, as you might imagine, less healthy to eat, because they’re also missing out on essential nutrients thanks to the trophic level paradigm—just like you are.

You won’t have to eat genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Researchers with Genetically Modified Corn

A GMO is a plant, animal, or microorganism whose genetic sequence has been modified to introduce genes from another species. Because the long-term impact of GMOs on our health isn’t known yet, they’re forbidden by the Soil Association Standards for Organic Food and Farming. Furthermore, in order to qualify as organic, animals can’t be fed GMOs, nor can they be fed antibiotics, added hormones, or other drugs. It is not currently required, however, that GMOs be mentioned on food labels, so it’s very likely that anything not certified organic contains some GMO ingredients.

Your drinking water will be safer.

The EPA estimates that pesticides contaminate groundwater in 38 states, polluting the primary source of drinking water for more than half the country’s population. Because organic farmers practice water conservation and don’t use toxic chemicals that leach into your groundwater, organic farming leads to less waste intrusion into our aquifers, which helps keep your drinking water healthier.

Your kids will be healthier.

The toxicity of pesticide residue is determined not only by the chemicals used, but by our body weight in relation to how much we consume. This means that your children are even more at risk than you are. It’s estimated that the average child receives four times more exposure than the average adult to at least eight widely used cancer-causing pesticides in food. To try and minimize this risk, buy organic, but also make sure that your family eats a wide variety of foods.

To help farmers and farm communities.

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It’s estimated that the U.S. has lost more than 650,000 family farms since 1990. The USDA estimates that half of the U.S. farm production comes from only 1 percent of farms. Organic farming may be one of the few survival tactics left for the family farm and rural communities. The majority of organic farms are still small-scale operations, generally on fewer than 100 acres, and using an average of 70 percent less energy. Small farms use far more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices than large-scale farms do. For example, small farms use manure to fertilize soil, naturally recycling it to keep the land productive. Industrial farms produce so much manure that it’s a human health risk.

The overspill of manure has contaminated water wells with E. coli and other pathogens. This brings up another subject: Industrial farms still—though now illegally—feed animals the ground-up remnants of other animals that aren’t naturally part of their diet. This has led to pathogens like E. coli getting into our foods in the first place.Furthermore, farm workers are much safer on small farms. A National Cancer Institute study found that farmers exposed to herbicides had six times more risk of contracting cancer than nonfarmers did. Due to their direct exposure, field workers on conventional farms are the most vulnerable to illness as a result of pesticide use. Organic farms eliminate that risk by eliminating harmful pesticides and other chemical inputs from their practices.

For more humane treatment of animals.

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Factory farms treat animals like commodities. They are usually kept in tightly confined pens or cages and often never move more than a few feet for their entire lives. They are also fed the cheapest foods available, no matter how it affects their—and then our—health. Besides the fact that a host of illnesses have entered our world as a direct result of this practice, it’s also just not nice. Animals on organic farms are far likelier to be raised without cruelty. They are also fed a diet much closer to what they would eat naturally, and studies tell us—surprise!—that these animals tend to be significantly healthier than their factory-raised counterparts.

To promote a vibrant economy.

Organic products only seem more expensive because people base their cost on their sticker price alone. However, retail price represents a mere fraction of their true cost. Market prices for conventionally grown foods don’t reflect the costs of federal subsidies to conventional agriculture, the cost of contaminated drinking water, loss of wildlife habitat and soil erosion, or the cost of the disposal and cleanup of hazardous wastes generated by the manufacturing of pesticides. Compared to local farms, there’s also transportation—and the pollutants that result from it—to consider. All of this means that essentially, you can pay now or pay later—just remember that you’re going to be charged interest, mainly in the form of a socially and ecologically diminished world to live in.

 What if you can’t find organic food?

One of our members, who lives in a rural area, went to her local market and requested healthier options. Now the store owner can’t keep them on the shelf. You can, with a little initiative, make a difference. After all, retail stores are in business to serve you. If this doesn’t work, hit the Internet. Since “organic” is the current buzzword of the food industry, there will be options. And of course there’s always your local farmers’ market.

For more information on organic and local produce, check out the Web site for the Organic Trade Association, or type “Community Supported Agriculture” into your favorite search engine.

Shakeology® Is Low-Glycemic: What That Means and Why It Matters to You!

What’s the Glycemic Index?

Simply put, the glycemic index is a way to measure how carbohydrates react in your blood. When you eat carbs, your blood sugar level rises anywhere from a little to a lot. The GI (Glycemic Index) uses a scale of 0 to 100, with higher numbers given to foods that cause the most rapid rise in blood sugar.

What do high-GI foods do to my body? They cause the body to produce higher levels of insulin, but sometimes too much. This gives you an energy burst known as a “sugar rush.” It feels good at first, but then your blood sugar drops rapidly and you “crash.” Eating low-GI foods is a smart way to avoid this, because they stabilize your blood sugar levels instead of spiking them.

What kind of high-GI foods to steer away from and why:

Foods with a high GI (above 70) include white bread, pretzels, potatoes, and most processed foods. Eating these foods triggers a rapid rise in blood sugar and insulin levels, which:

  • Encourages the body to store fat

  • Creates a cycle of hunger pangs and feeling unsatisfied

  • Causes an energy crash that leaves you irritated or tired

  • Can lead to high blood pressure, fluid retention and diabetes

In contrast, foods with a low GI (under 55)—like broccoli, oatmeal, peanuts, and Shakeology—help stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels, which:

  • Increases levels of glycogen, a hormone that causes body fat to be burned

  • Helps satisfy feelings of hunger

  • Helps balance moods

  • Reduces the risk of heart disease, helps control diabetes, and positively affects the aging process

So you see, eating low-GI foods like Shakeology is good for you! Shakeology’s GI rating of 24 is much lower than most fruits and some vegetables. Low-GI foods keep your sugar levels in check while supplying nutrition that satisfies, energizes, and helps promote good health!

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Blame Your Desk Job

This is a little embarrassing…

Several years ago I was the manager at a packing and shipping store in Bay Harbor Islands, Florida. An elderly lady walked into the store to ship a small package. I took the small box to the peanut machine (styrofoam peanuts for packing); a couple peanuts fell on the floor. I then bent down to pick them up and “snap, crackle, pop” my back gave out on me. Hunched over and sweating prefusely, the little old lady asked if I needed assistance. She then helped me up and placed me in a chair.

I was only 25 years old! How does this happen to a young man?! 

Today’s society is plagued by postural imbalances, mainly due to sedentary lifestyles caused by seated desk jobs, bad workout habits and advancements in technology. Most people are spending a lot of time in office-related jobs which require them to be seated for long periods of time; not only is this not conducive to calorie burning but the seated position is one of the WORST postures our backs can be subjected to. Not only are the tissues in the lumbar spine (lower back) under a tremendous amount of stress while seated but our muscles begin to adapt to this posture, rendering us with chronic muscle imbalances. These imbalances determine the way our bodies move and have a strong correlation with joint health and subsequent pain. When one piece of the kinetic chain is not properly functioning, it can alter the rest of the operating systems. Much like the old saying “you are only as strong as your weakest link”, the same applies to the human body.

What are the hazards of postural imbalances?

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It can lead to muscular imbalances, chronic lower back pain (computer back), weak gluteal muscles that usually lead to lower back pain, sciatica (pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling in the leg), anterior pelvic tilt (protruding abdominal), lower crossed syndrome.

This subject is personal to me because I fell into the “blame your desk job” category. I developed lower back pain “computer back”, knee pain,  a serious case of APT (Anterior Pelvic Tilt) and lowered crossed syndrome. I never understood why I had all these issues until I started researching and learning; I discovered what my postural imbalances were, why I developed them, and how to correct them.

APT is when excessive anterior pelvic tilt can contribute heavily to postural dysfunction; as the pelvis tilts anteriorly, the thigh bones rotate inward, causing an increased stress on the medial (inside) portion of the knee joints. This was very frustrating for me because my lower abdominal would protrude. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have an ounce of fat, APT will make your lower abdominal stick out (unattractive).

“Lower Crossed Syndrome” is similar to APT. It is basically the combination of tight hip flexors and tight lower back, paired with weak abdominals and weak glutes. This combination leads to an excessive arching in your lower back, a flaccid or protrudingabdomen and a flat butt due to the weakness of the glutes. This muscle imbalance imposes excessive stresses on the lower back with or without heavy lifting, bending, twisting or turning.

The photo below illustrates anterior and posterior pelvic tilt.

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HOW TO CORRECT POSTURAL IMBALANCES:

#1 Maintain proper posture on a daily basis.

While at work sitting at your desk, make yourself aware of keeping good posture. This can be difficult at first, but here are a few things that I did to optimize my body positioning.

  • Lower the height of your chair so that your back touches the back of the chair and your feet rest firmly on the floor slightly in front of you.

  • Center the keyboard in front of you and position your screen so that the toolbar is eyelevel for you.

  • The keyboard and mouse should be moved close to the edge of the desk and your wrists should be supported by a gel pad or wrist support.

  • Avoid repetitive gripping of the mouse.

  • Get up from your chair every 20 minutes, stretch for about 30 seconds, and sit back down. Never be seated for more than 20 minutes. Yes, this also applies to when you’re sitting on the coach at home!

#2 Stretch!

Every morning, wake up and stretch for 5-10 minutes. Perform dynamic stretches designed to correct anterior pelvic tilt, lower crossed syndrome and other muscular imbalances. If you want to know which stretches I perform every day, just book an online session or an in person session with me — email me at shredfatinc@gmail.com

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#3 Develop a strong core.

The cornerstone of all athletic movements is the core muscles. You can train to increase strength, power, speed, agility, and quickness but if your core muscles are weak you will not reap the full benefits. The core muscles serve as a force couple to transfer the power developed in the hips and legs into the arms and vice-versa.  The SHREDFAT INC program not only helps you shred unwanted fat, it also helps develop overall core strength, and it teaches you value of core muscle coordination, AND you can do it from the comfort of your own living room! These exercises place the body in an unbalanced position help to develop the needed strength and coordination needed for your core muscles to function properly. This is CRUCIAL to correcting postural imbalances.

Core-MusclesMy knee problems are currently nonexistent. My APT and “lower crossed syndrome” are about 100% corrected. I owe this all to my weight loss via Shakeology, my SHREDFAT program and the tips I previously discussed. Smart interval training is so important because it helps maintain proper balance between each of your muscle group. Exercises for each muscle group promote optimal growth and are way more effective. This is simply because muscles work in pairs and not keeping the balance between opposing ones can also mean not getting the best results out of your workouts, which also prevents muscle imbalances.

 

 

Processed Foods and Your Health

Did you know that about 90% of the American household food budget is spent on buying processed foods; this is one of the major contributing factors to the obesity epidemic in this great country of mine. Now allow me to ask you this; if a bag of chips had a warning on the bag that read “Warning: these chips will make you obese, and most likely cause hypertension and cardiac arrest” would you still eat them? Well, in a sense, you do see that warning on chips; just read the ingredients. I’m writing this post so you can gain a little knowledge about how processed foods affect your health.

3 Harmful Ingredients Found In Processed Foods That You Should Be Aware Of:

 

  • 8192765-48213-no-msg-stampMonosodium Glutamate (MSG) – Research suggests that monosodium glutamate causes obesity, making unhealthy snacks even unhealthier than you may have suspected. MSG is an excitotoxin, a substance that overexcites neurons to the point of cell damage and, eventually, cell death. Humans lack a blood-brain barrier in the hypothalamus, which allows excitotoxins to enter the brain and cause damage.  According to animal studies, MSG creates a lesion in the hypothalamus that correlates with abnormal development, including obesity, short stature and sexual reproduction problems. By avoiding foods with MSG, you are not only protecting your health and your family’s health, you are also protecting society’s health by not supporting companies that use MSG. Use your buying power to show that you don’t accept manufactured foods that use MSG or any of the other hidden forms of MSG such as yeast extract, hydrolyzed vegetable proteins and autolyzed proteins.

 

  • high-fructose-corn-syrup-250x150High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) – Since the late 1980s, HFCS has replaced regular table sugar, honey, and similar sweeteners in practically everything. A Princeton University study found that rats that were fed HFCS gained fat 300% more quickly than those fed an equal (or slightly larger) dose of fruit-derived sugar. High-fructose doesn’t just make your body fat, it makes your heart fat too. There is a strong link between the irresponsible consumption of high fructose corn syrup and elevated triglyceride and HDL (bad cholesterol) levels. Together these can cause arterial plague build-up and eventually lead to dangerous heart conditions including hypertension, heart disease, and even stroke. Like anything else you eat or drink, HFCS is processed by your liver, gallbladder and kidneys. And it’s especially destructive to your liver. When combined with a sedentary lifestyle, permanent liver scarring can occur. Excessive amounts of soda, energy drinks and junk-food simply aren’t worth losing a foot or going blind or harming your children.

 

  • notransfatcali1TRANS FATS – Once hailed as a cheap, heart-friendly replacement for butter, lard and coconut oil, trans fats have been denounced by one Harvard nutrition expert as “the biggest food-processing disaster in U.S. history.” Trans fat is made by adding hydrogen to vegetable oil through a process called hydrogenation, which makes the oil less likely to spoil. Using trans fats in the manufacturing of foods helps foods stay fresh longer, have a longer shelf life and have a less greasy feel. Crackers, cookies and cakesand many fried foods, such as doughnuts and french fries — even the stick margarine you may rely on as a “heart-healthy” alternative to saturated-fat-laden butter. Trans fats are worse for your heart than saturated fats because they boost your levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and decrease “good” HDL cholesterol. That’s double trouble for your arteries. And unlike saturated fats, trans fats also raise your levels of artery-clogging lipoprotein and triglycerides. Check the ingredient list for any of these words: “partially hydrogenated,” “fractionated,” or “hydrogenated” (fully hydrogenated fats are not a heart threat, but some trans fats are mislabeled as “hydrogenated”). The higher up the phrase “partially hydrogenated oil” is on the list of ingredients, the more trans fat the product contains.

 

Weird Ingredients Found In Processed Foods That Will Make You Think Twice:

  • KFC’s Chicken Pot Pie contains L-Cysteine Hydrochloride, an amino acid often derived from human hair, feathers or a mutation of E. coli!

  • Subway Sandwich Rolls contains fertilizer! Ammonium sulfate can be found inside many brands of bread, including Subway’s. The chemical provides nitrogen for the yeast, creating a more consistent product.

  • Beaver Anal Glands in Raspberry Candy! The anal glands of a beaver are a common ingredient in perfumes and colognes but are also sometimes used to enhance the flavor of raspberry candies and sweets.

  • All Hostess Products (Twinkies, Ding Dongs, etc.) contain beef fat!

  • Skittles and sprinkles contain beetle juice! They get that glaze from the secretions of the female lac beetle.

  • Wendy’s Chili has sand in it! Silicon dioxide is used as an “anti-caking agent,” perhaps to make sure the chili can last for days and days over a heater.

In an effort to keep this post short I only included 3 harmful ingredients found in processed foods; don’t be mistaken, there are plenty more harmful ingredients found in these foods. Eat whole foods instead of the synthetic processed junk; get real food with real benefits! Flush out all of the processed junk food you’ve consumed over the years by drinking Shakeology, you’ll feel great!

Crazy for Chia Seeds!

Shakeology ingredient, chia seeds, are edible seeds that come from the desert plant Salvia Hispanica, a member of the mint family that grows abundantly in South America. I’m sure you have seen chia sprouts growing on Chia Pets since the 1980s, but the seeds themselves have a long track record historically as a dietary supplement due to their amazing nutrition! In fact, they date all the way back to pre-Columbian times, where chia seeds were a main component of the Aztec and Mayan diets; women would give them to the warriors for energy and endurance before battle.

As you can see, Chia seeds have been around for a long time but they’re having a second life so-to-speak as the newest ‘it’ health food and potent superfood! In fact, New York Times recently wrote an article about them where they noted the rebirth of chia seeds from the 80s as a health food, read it here.

So what’s all the fuss about? Well, they’re incredibly good for you! They’re an excellent source of Omega-3, antioxidants, protein and fiber. And what do those things do for your health? They can help you feel full for longer, they can support healthy blood sugar levels, they are rich in Omega 3 which is important to heart and cholesterol health, and they help to support healthy, sustained energy levels.

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All these health benefits, complimented by the fact that they have a very mild taste, make them a great superfood to have on hand to add to salads, shakes, oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, dressings and marinades. You can even add more to your Shakeology for a boost (approximately 1 tsp) but rest assured, they’re already in there so you’ve been getting all these benefits daily for the duration that you’ve been drinking Shakeology. See, you’re ahead of the trend!

When adding extra chia to your Shakeology or any recipe for that matter though, keep in mind that chia is very high in fiber – just 2 tbsp contain almost ¼ of your daily recommended fiber amount. So, just like when you first started drinking fiber-rich Shakeology, make sure your body adjusts gradually; start small and work your way up!

You can also use chia interchangeably with flaxseed, a product many people use as a digestion aid by adding to juices, etc. A couple advantages chia has over flax is that it has a longer shelf life and unlike flax, chia seeds don’t have to be ground before using- they are perfectly digestible in whole form!

Another advantage: when added to water and allowed to sit for 30 minutes, chia forms a gel. Researchers suggest that this reaction also takes place in the stomach, slowing the process by which digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates and convert them into sugar. This can help you feel full for longer making chia seeds a great weight loss tool too!

Enjoy the healthy benefits of chia, one of our favorite superfood-superstars of the year!

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How Can Shakeology Improve Your Digestion?

Many people suffer from digestive symptoms and problems. Some of the main complaints that people have when it comes to digestive problems are bloating, gas, stomach pains, constipation, etc. For each of these symptoms and conditions there is usually an underlying cause as to why they are happening.

Changing your diet to one that’s filled with healthy ingredients rich in prebiotics and probiotics, as well as staying active, can often times be the solution to digestive imbalance. Many of our customers have told us that once they started drinking Shakeology and started getting active, their digestion problems have gotten better or disappeared all together.

“Ever since I started drinking Shakeology, I no longer binge on the bad stuff. Now my skins glows and her digestion is where it should be.”– Becky B.

Shakeology contains many ingredients that are beneficial to the digestive system such as prebiotics, probiotics and digestive enzymes. Prebiotics and Probiotics, are natural components of certain plants. They help support the “friendly” bacteria in your digestive tract and they may also help with the absorption of minerals such as calcium. Digestive enzymes, from plant sources such as pineapples and papayas, help your body break down food into its individual components, making the nutrients easier to absorb. Cooking can destroy food’s natural digestive enzymes, so there’s a good chance that you don’t get enough of them in your diet.

Drinking a glass of Shakeology daily can help move things along, so to speak, because of the prebiotics, probiotics, whole food ingredients, fiber, and digestive enzymes. If you are seeking good health, the place to start is in your digestive tract. Healthy digestion is key to detoxify your body each day and helps prevent unhealthy diseases.

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Antioxidants…Why We Need ‘Um!

Antioxidants are surrounded by a lot of hype. They are touted as everything from disease fighters to memory protectors to the antidote to aging. So what are antioxidants? Why are they important? What is the best way to get them in your diet? 

Antioxidants help fight oxidation, a normal chemical process that takes place in the body every day. Oxidative stress and free radical damage to cells is harmful because it may initiate the early stages of cancer and heart disease. Eating foods rich in antioxidants help fight the oxidation and free radical damage plus, they also help you look and feel younger by helping to slow down the aging process and help to prevent cancer, heart disease and other degenerative diseases. Finally, an added bonus is that they also help to speed up the recovery from exercise which means more muscle and less fat on your body!

Health organizations such as the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society and the American Institute for Cancer Research recommend eating between five and nine servings of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables every day.

Shakeology meets this recommendation and more because it contains some of the most potent antioxidants on the planet: flavonoids and phytonutrients such as spinach, blue green algae, carrot powder, strawberry powder, and vitamins E and C. All of these help to prevent free radicals from oxidizing and destroying cells. In addition, the ingredients in our antioxidant blend such as pomegranate, acai berry, camu-camu, goji, and blueberry also have powerful antioxidant effects to support your immune system and help protect your body from normal inflammatory response.

So the bottom line is to choose your foods wisely to help prevent healthy-aging as well as cellular health from the stress of oxidation on your cells. Your cells need a variety of antioxidants to fight the destructive little molecules that wage war in the body daily and Shakeology, as well as a well-rounded diet of fruits and vegetables, can help do exactly that!

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5 Reasons Why You Are Fat

REASON #1. YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO SAY NO

How many times have you eaten unhealthily because of food offers and meal invitations? It happens all the time! I know some of you may think it’s rude to turn down food especially at someone’s dinner party, but it’s really not rude at all. You have weight loss goals you need to accomplish and eating those foods will be a delay in accomplishing them. If the person(s) offering you food get offended, then they don’t have your best interest in mind; they should respect the fact that you are dedicated and determined to achieve your goal. When temptation kicks in, remind yourself this; nothing taste as good as feeling fit feels. Take my word for it, as someone who used to eat all kinds of unhealthy crap.

REASON #2. YOU HAVE TOO MANY EXCUSES

Excuses are like armpits, everyone has them and they all stink.

Excusitis; it’s an illness that many people suffer from not only in fitness goals but in all aspects of their life. People with excusitis let negative words sink into their mind, such words as embarrassment, bad genes, bad luck, fear of failing, and fear of people. If you are making excuses every day, you will continue to set yourself up for failure. Successful people DO what unsuccessful people aren’t willing to do. From this day on, take action, be confident, and just get things done. Stop making excuses about why you can’t workout, just get it done. Nobody ever says “Damn, I shouldn’t have worked out today”, but if they didn’t workout, they will always say “Damn, I should have worked out today”. It never fails. You’ll feel so much better once you start accomplishing goals. Start small as small steps equal big leaps.

Watch this incredibly inspirational video below. I bet you’ll stop making excuses now. #NeverGiveUp

REASON #3. YOU DON’T KNOW WHICH FOODS ARE HEALTHY

Food manufacturers spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year for the sole purpose of tricking consumers into thinking they are eating something healthy, but in reality it’s making them fat. For example, the term “low fat” is usually synonymous with “loaded with salt and cheap carbohydrates”. Labels are about marketing; the nutrition chart is about content. So ignore the front, and look for high saturated fat, protein and fiber, and low amounts of carbs. And remember, whole foods have no labels. They’re the best choice of all; it’s nearly impossible to eat too much of anything that grows on a tree, bush or vine.

 REASON #4. YOU ARE SEATED WAY TOO MUCH

The computer is the enemy of your abs.

The simple act of sitting in a chair for a long time is one of the riskiest activities we engage in on a regular basis. Not only is sitting for a long time not conducive to calorie burning, it’s also the major reason most of us have back problems and muscular imbalances. I know this all too well, I used to have “computer back” and APT (Anterior Pelvic Tilt). I made the decision, and the effort to correct those problems and now I feel better than ever. I used to have to wear a knee brace just to walk around the mall; now I don’t wear any braces when walking, and I can play basketball for multiple hours with no problem! If you want to learn how I corrected it, simply shoot me an email. shredfatinc@gmail.com

REASON #5. YOU DON’T PLAN YOUR MEALS

If you don’t plan, you plan to fail

The truth is, fit people plan their meals in advance. When you plan your meals you end up saving money, saving time, and you’ll avoid binge eating on junk food because your prepared healthy foods will be available. During my weight loss journey of shredding 80lbs of fat,  I made a habit of purchasing all my groceries each Sunday, then preparing, chopping and storing all the food so it would be easily accessible throughout the week; I can’t tell you how much doing this helped me achieve my weight loss goals. Need help creating healthy meal plans? Click here to get custom Meal Plans created for you, for only $2.99 per week!

Spotlight on Shakeology Ingredient: Moringa

Via The Shakeology Blog

Say hello to moringa, one of the latest additions to the cornucopia of superfoods found in Shakeology! This amazing plant—sometimes called the horseradish tree or the drumstick tree—has been used medicinally the world over dating back the ancient Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians. Moringa is known to promote energy, vitality, athletic performance and weight loss while also promoting a healthy immune system to keep you super healthy. And while all this ancient wisdom is fantastic, this magic shrub can hold its own when looked at from a modern nutritional point of view too.

Although the entire tree is edible, we just use the chlorophyll-rich leaves for Shakeology, which you’ll find packed with vitamins A and C, as well as potassium, iron, and zinc. You’ll also find 96 active phytochemicals and 35 active antioxidants, including superoxide dismutase (SOD), an enzyme especially effective at combating damage done by superoxide, a common free radical.

You’ll also find 18 essential amino acids, including the 9 essential to human life, making it a great addition to any vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian diet. (Although it’s still great for you even if you’re a carnivore.)

See what we mean? The research on moringa goes beyond indigenous folklore. While moringa originated in the foothills of the Himalayas in northwestern India, it is grown and farmed throughout the tropics around the world. We source ours primarily from Senegal, due largely to the research of Dr. Lowell Fuglie, arguably the world’s foremost expert on the crop. “Dr. Fuglie found out the soil qualities, the mineral qualities, the temperature, the climate were the best in Senegal,” explained Shakeology co-creator Darin Olien, “and he went all over the world! Also, the labor issues in Senegal are solid and the relative cost is cheaper for us but they get a higher wage than in the other commodities. So you’ve got all those things.”

All in all, moringa is a wonderfully complex supplement and that’s why we chose to include it in the new ‘Superfood Formula’ blend of Chocolate Shakeology. It is one of the 4 new superfoods in the new formula plus the 3 you know from Tropical Strawberry Shakeology: Coconut Flower Nectar, Luo Han Guo, and Himalayan salt. Try it out, let us know what you think and most importantly, take note of the newfound benefits moringa brings you!

Read even more about the science and benefits of this newest superfood ingredient from a thorough study out of Johns Hopkins University at: http://moringamalunggay.com/John_Hopkins.pdf.

Learn More About Shakeology

Snacks Under 100 Calories

Although some of you may feel guilty about snacking, know this; snacks aren’t necessarily bad as long as you choose the right snack. In fact, well timed healthy snacks helped me reach my weight loss goals. You may be asking yourself which snacks should you eat? Select foods that satisfy your hunger, supply your body with energy and provide important nutrients.

I’ve compiled a list of 30 healthy snacks under 100 calories: *Always buy organic*

  • Grapes: 1 cup (62 calories)

  • Popcorn: 2 cups, air popped. (62 calories)

  • Raspberries: 1 cup (64 calories)

  • Tangerine: 1 (47 calories)

  • Pear: 1 (86 calories)

  • Peach: 1 (58 calories)

  • Mango: 1 cup (99 calories)

  • Apple: 1 (77 calories)

  • Broccoli: 1 cup (58 calories)

  • Cashews: 10 (91 calories)

  • Cherries: 19 raw (98 calories)

  • Watermelon: 2 cups cubed (94 calories)

  • Organic Free Range Egg: 1 hard boiled (70 calories)

  • Almonds: about 14 unsalted, skin on (98 calories)

  • Baby Carrots: 30 pieces (72 calories)

  • Strawberries: 1 cup (77 calories)

  • Kiwis: 2 medium (84 calories)

  • Peanuts: about 20 (96 calories)

  • Cheerios: about 1 cup (99 calories)

  • Blueberries: 1 cup (84 calories)

  • Banana: small/medium (about 95 calories)

  • Cucumber Slices with Hummus: 1 cup cucumber slices, 2 tbsp hummus (98 total calories)

  • Avocado: about 2 ounces (99 calories)