It’s really simple, but works like magic

This article is only for those who are completely fed up with trying to lose fat and inches through diet and exercise…

You’re probably thinking: What’s the deal? Why won’t the weight come off? You are doing everything you can think of to make it happen.

There’s one simple thing that you can do each day to finally get the slimmed down, amazingly fit body you desire. One. Simple. Thing.

And here it is…replace one meal per day with Shakeology

That’s it.

Solve this problem and your dream body will quickly and easily become reality.

Wait, don’t give me the excuse that, “It cost too much money” Really? It’s about $4.00 per serving so instead of spending 6-10 bucks on an unhealthy sandwich for lunch you are saving some bucks and consuming the worlds healthiest shake.

Back to Basics: Why Shakeology Works
Shakeology is so incredible, there’s nothing out there that can supply you with all the nutrients, vitamins, proteins, and minerals in these amounts the way one delicious shake can.

Packed with globally sourced superfood ingredients

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  • Proteins and fiber – to help reduce hunger and food cravings.

  • Antioxidants, Phytonutrients, Vitamins, and Minerals – to help fight free radical damage and help support a healthy immune system

  • Adaptogen Herbs – traditionally used to help the body adaptand respond to the effects of stress

  • Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Digestive Enzymes – to help nutrient absorption and support regularity and healthy digestion.

Proteins and Fiber

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Studies show protein for breakfast can help reduce afternoon cravings for sweets. Shakeology’s nourishing protein blend includes superfoods like sacha inchi andflax that also contains fiber.

To help you fight cravings and feel full longer.

Plus, Shakeology can help:*
• Build and repair muscles
• Support healthy blood sugar levels (as measured by HbA1C)
• Support healthy skin, hair, and nails

Antioxidants, Phytonutrients, Vitamins, and Minerals

The superfoods in Shakeology go beyond meeting basic nutritional needs. They are sourced from around the world, including camu-camu which contains phytonutrients and goji berry, which contains antioxidants.

Support your body and your cells.

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Plus, Shakeology can help:*

  • Provide the body with vitamins and minerals

  • Support a healthy immune system

  • Fight free radical damage

Adaptogen Herbs

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Among the powerful superfoods in Shakeology are adaptogens—such as maca root,astragalus, and ginkgo.

Adaptogens have been around for centuries

• Adaptogens have been used in Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine since ancient times to help balance the body’s response to stress
• Centuries of traditional medicine believed adaptogens helped support physical and mental wellbeing

Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Digestive Enzymes

Shakeology is packed with fiber, natural prebiotics, and probiotics, like yacon root and bacillus coagulans that provides “good bacteria” to help support digestion and help keep you “regular.”

Gently eliminate waste from your digestive system

Plus, Shakeology can help:*

  • Support healthy digestion

  • Support regularity

  • Increase the absorption of nutrients buy-shakeology.jpg

I’d love to hear from you. Call or email today to get started!

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Your New (Hot) Body

Can you picture it? Your slimmed-down, toned-up body, that you’ve earned after a few solid months of working out and eating right. Oh the satisfaction!

One of the first things that people always say, when seeing one of my transformed clients, is how much younger they look. Getting rid of excess fat and getting your body into ideal condition is the quickest and easiest way to look and feel younger than ever.

Guarantee that you’ll meet your fitness and weight loss goals by working with me. You’ll be held accountable with your workouts and you’ll be instructed properly and shown techniques and strategies that will expedite your results. Call or email today to get started on a program that will take the guesswork out of fitness and to set your results on fire 🙂


Low Carb Pumpkin Muffins

Here’s a muffin that isn’t sugary, starchy and devoid of nutrients – like the muffins at your favorite coffee shop. These muffins are rich in beta-carotene and contain half an egg’s worth of high quality protein. The delicately sweet flavor will satisfy and have you coming back for more.
(Always buy organic ingredients)

Servings: 12

Here’s what you need…

  • ½ cup coconut flour (find at natural foods store)

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ cup canned pureed pumpkin

  • 6 pastured eggs, beaten

  • 3 Tablespoon coconut oil, melted

  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 12 pecans for topping

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Oil muffin pans.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine the coconut flour, spices, baking soda and salt.

  3. In another bowl, place the pumpkin puree then add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add melted coconut, honey and vanilla and mix until well combined.

  4. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture, blend with a whisk until most lumps have disappeared.

  5. Spoon into prepared muffin pan, filling each muffin 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden.

  6. Place on wire rack to cool.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 127 calories, 7g fat, 230mg sodium, 11.7g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, and 5g protein.

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What You Need to Know to Lose Belly Fat

So you want to get rid of some belly fat.

And you can’t help but be on the lookout for that magical exercise that will give you flat abs once-and-for-all.

I’m sorry to burst your bubble of hope…

But all the ab crunches in the world won’t make a dent in your belly bulge, as long as you continue with your unhealthy lifestyle.

This isn’t a cutting edge discovery. In fact, by now it’s common knowledge that spot reduction is a myth.

And yet, time after time, I’m asked to reveal the exercise, or exercise machine, that gets rid of stomach fat.

There is no such magical exercise.

The magic is found in altering your diet and exercise routine to promote fat loss from your overall body, including—but not limited to—your midsection.

Here’s how to really get rid of that belly fat:

Flat Belly Tip #1: Cut Out Processed Foods

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You know how Disneyland has the FastPass tickets that allow you to cut to the front of the ride lines?

Consider processed foods as a FastPass ticket to belly fat.

I wouldn’t be surprised if future studies show that the over-processing, chemical additives and high fructose corn syrup that are pumped into processed food specifically adds fat around your belly.

If you want to lose pounds then stay away from sugars, sodas, chemically altered fats, processed, packaged, fried and preserved foods.

Flat Belly Tip #2: Eat Fresh, Whole Foods

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Once you’ve cut the garbage out of your diet, fill in the void with fresh foods such as:

  • Green veggies

  • Whole fruit

  • Lean, high quality meat

  • Colorful veggies

  • Whole grains, in moderation

While these foods may seem boring at first, stick with it long enough and you’ll grow to love the unadulterated flavor of real food.

Eating a diet filled with the foods listed above will give your body all the nutrients it needs to shredpounds and lean out.

Flat Belly Tip #3: A Consistent, Challenging Exercise Program

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The absolute best way to fight the battle of the belly bulge is with a consistent, challenging exercise program.

  • Consistent: You should exercise 3-5 times each week.

  • Challenging: If you want to see results then keep your body guessing with new exercises and varied intensity.

My exercise programs are specifically crafted to get you into the best shape of your life.

I’d love to hear from you. Call or email today to get started!

Get FREE Access To My New Ebook!


Green Tea For Fat Loss (Does it really work?)

Let’s make one thing clear right at the start; there is no magic weight loss pill. Optimal health and the physique you desire comes with hard work at the gym, and eating (mostly) clean. With that being said, there are actually some supplements that can accelerate your results.

As it turns out, research has proven that green tea could benefit you.

Read the Back Label, Not the Front

As a rule of thumb, never trust the claims on the front of a food package. Claims like: heart healthy, all-natural, whole grains, or fiber-filled are never reason enough to purchase the item.You see, the real truth about a packaged food item is hidden in the ingredient list on the BACK label, not in the bold claims on the front.

Scan that ingredient list for high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, sugar, gluten, trans fats, hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated oils – if the food contains these items then rest assured that it’s not healthy and should not be eaten.


Chicken & Veggie Stir Fry with Mango

Eating healthy does not need to be boring! This Chicken & Veggie Stir Fry with Mango will wake up your taste buds, feed your muscles and satisfy your fiber needs, all in one delicious bowl! Meals like this, built around lean protein and veggies, are the way to eat in order to get your best fitness results possible. Enjoy! Servings: 6

*Always purchase organic ingredients*

Here’s what you need…

  • 1 pound organic, boneless, free range skinless chicken breast

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin Olive oil

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped

  • 2 heads broccoli, chopped

  • 2 carrots, cut in half and then into 2 inch segments

  • 2 heads baby bok choy, chopped

  • 1 zucchini, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced

  • 3/4 cup chicken broth (divided)

  • 2 Tablespoons arrowroot starch

  • 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil

  • 1 Tablespoons ume plum vinegar

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut aminos

  • 1 ripe, organic mango, peeled, pitted and chopped

  1. Rinse the chicken and cut into 1 inch cubes.

  2. Place the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions, sauté for about 10 minutes, until soft. Add the broccoli, carrots and chicken and cook an additional 10 minutes. Add the bok choy and zucchini. After 5 minutes add 1/4 cup of chicken broth, cover, and cook an additional 10 minutes.

  3. In a small bowl combine the remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth, arrowroot, sesame oil, vinegar and coconut aminos. Add the seasoned mixture to the skillet, along with the chopped mango, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving (without rice) equals: 243 calories, 11g fat, 675mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, and 19g protein

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Why You’re Gaining Weight (and how to stop it)

Tired of gaining weight? Of course you are – none of us enjoy it when the number on our scale begins to climb. So why are you gaining that extra weight now?

That is a valid and frustrating question. And the answer is often found in recent changes in your life.

According to Edward Abramson, Ph.D. the author of Emotional Eating, “Any change in your life circumstances can produce changes in eating and exercise, which leads to weight gain.”

Let’s dive into the major changes in your life that have caused that annoying weight gain…

Life’s Fat Traps:

We all gain weight for different reasons. You often hear about one-size-fits-all weight loss solutions that take little or no consideration of how the extra weight piled up in the first place. To experience true weight loss it is important to understand why you gained it in the first place.

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Think back to the time in your life when your weight was just right. Were you in your teens? Your twenties? Or maybe your thirties? Picture yourself as you were at your ideal weight. Now when did things change? Was it a gradual addition of pounds that accumulated over a span of multiple years? Or did you gain it all at once?

Check out the following weight gain triggers and determine which one is responsible for your plight.

College:

The college years are some of the easiest for gaining weight. In fact, a recent study by Cornell University found that on average, college freshman gain about 0.5 pounds a week – almost 11 times more than the average weight gain among 17-and 18-year olds and almost 20 times more than the average weight gain among American adults.

Marriage:

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There’s nothing like holy matrimony to encourage a barrage of calories to overtake your diet. Late night comfort snacks are always more enjoyable when you have someone to share them with—and who better than the person who pledged to stick by your side through sickness and health?

Pregnancy:

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Talk about a great time to gain weight! And we’re not just talking about women here—most men admit that they gained ‘sympathy’ pounds right along with their wife. Hormonal changes along with strong encouragement from everyone you know to indulge in anything their heart desires leave most pregnant women with a feeling of entitlement when it comes to food.

Career:

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Though you may not realize it, your career choice plays a major hand in your weight. Those who go from an active lifestyle to spending 8 hours a day behind a desk and another 2 hours commuting almost universally gain weight. Conversely, people who spend their 8 hours in constant motion find weight loss a natural byproduct of the job.

New Habits:

Close your eyes and go back to the fattrap that triggered your weight gain. What changed in your lifestyle? To help sort things out, I’ve broken things down into two specific behavioral categories.

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Eating Habits:

Did your eating pattern change at this time in your life? If your weight gain occurred in college then maybe you went from eating 3 square meals to an all-you-can-eat buffet style cafeteria. Or if marriage was your weight gain trigger, then maybe you went from eating small meals to fattening comfort food. Pregnancy brings on the perfect environment for a change in eating habits. You go from eating normally, to eating ‘for two’, to munching on your baby’s snacks right along with him! Your job can also dictate your eating schedule. Long hours and early meetings may cause you to grab a donut or chips from the vending machine.

Activity Level:

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The second category that leads to weight gain is your activity level. Simply put, what kind of exercise were you doing before your life changing event and how does it compare to your current exercise regime? Chances are good that you were doing more exercise before your weight gain began—which means that you are doing less exercise today! Go ahead, think back to the exercises or physical activities that you used to do and compare them to your schedule today.

Your Transformation:

You’ve figured out which fattrap in your life led to weight gain, and then narrowed down the exact behaviors that changed as a result, so this naturally leads us to a solution.

It’s time to make a change.

Call or email today to get started on a fitness program that will make you immune to all of life’s fattraps.

Once you start working with me, those numbers on your scale will quickly change direction. Let’s do this!

Sleep Hack

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The most powerful relaxation mineral available, and it can help improve your sleep.

A deficiency in this critical nutrient makes you twice as likely to die as other people, according to a study published in The Journal of Intensive Care Medicine. It also accounts for a long list of symptoms and diseases — which are easily helped and often cured by adding this nutrient.

Think of magnesium as the relaxation mineral. Anything that is tight, crampy, irritable, and stiff – whether it is a body part or an even a mood is a sign of magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium is responsible for over 300 enzyme reactions and is found in all of your tissues — but mainly in your bones, muscles, and brain. You must have it for your cells to make energy, for many different chemical pumps to work, to stabilize membranes, and to help muscles relax.

Take 400mg magnesium 30-60 minutes before bed. Too much will result in diarrhea aka disaster pants. The most absorbable forms are magnesium citrate, glycinate taurate, threonate, or aspartate. I personally take this high quality brand.

Best Ab Exercises

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Just because those crunches won’t reduce your body fat, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strengthen your abdominal muscles. Regular ab exercises are an essential part of your strength and conditioning – necessary in order to get that fit physique you want.

Plank: Lie face down on mat resting on the forearms, palms flat on the floor. Push off the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominals to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air or sagging in the middle. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, lower and repeat for 3-5 reps.

Knee Tucks: Start on your back, bend your knees into your chest, point your toes together, and open knees out to the sides, keeping toes touching. Extend both arms overhead on either side of your ears, palms facing up. Lift your hips off the floor and bring your knees up towards your armpits. Slowly lower your hips back down to start position. Repeat for 12-15 reps.

One-Arm Full Sit Ups: Start lying on your back with your right knee bent, foot flat on the floor, and left leg extended straight out on the floor. Extend your right arm to the ceiling and reach your left arm towards your left foot. Sit all the way up, rolling through your back, keeping your right foot on the floor, and your right arm up over your shoulder and your left arm reaching in front of you all the way up. Slowly roll back down to the floor. That’s one rep. Repeat 15 times on one side, 15 times on the other. For an extra challenge hold a dumbbell in your extended arm.


Clean Burrito

Here’s a healthy burrito recipe to sink your teeth into. Whole grains, lean protein and crunchy veggies make this a recipe that you’ll come back to time and again. Serve with a side of your favorite salsa. Servings: 1

Always buy organic ingredients

Here’s what you need…

  • 1 sprouted grain, flourless tortilla

  • 1 Tablespoon hummus

  • 1/3 cup cooked brown rice

  • ¼ cup cooked black beans

  • ½ cup cooked chicken, chopped

  • 2 Tablespoons fresh corn kernels

  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cucumber

  • ¼ cup shredded arugula

  • 3 cherry tomatoes, chopped

  1. Warm the tortilla in a dry skillet. Spread the hummus evenly over the tortilla.

  2. Top the tortilla with rice, beans, chicken and veggies.

  3. Fold the two sides of the tortilla in over the filling, then flip up the bottom edge and roll tightly.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 380 calories, 7.8g fat, 45g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, and 31g protein.

 

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No Time to Workout?

The number one reason why you don’t exercise is that you don’t have time.

At least that’s what you tell yourself.

I know we are all busy. Between getting to and from work, balancing responsibilities and having time for yourself, there’s little left over for workouts.

With summer in full swing your busy schedule is sure to get even busier. There will be vacations, cookouts and family gatherings. It’s no wonder that exercise quickly takes a backseat to summer activities.

You don’t have to succumb to weight gain this summer. Escape the time crunch excuse in three easy steps:

Step One: Schedule Your Workouts: You’ve heard this before, and it makes so much sense. If you treat your exercise time with the importance of a work meeting then you’d never skip a workout and you’d be in amazing shape.

Closeup calendar page with drawing-pins

While the scheduling concept is brilliant in its simplicity, you have to put it into practice to reap the benefits. Pull out your calendar and a pen. Don’t laugh, I’m serious! Just do it. If you want to get into shape it starts with committing to a revised schedule with a set exercise time.

Identify three 40-minute time slots and mark them on your calendar. That is when you’ll exercise.

Remember this: if the thought that you should exercise this week is floating around in your head, but you haven’t anchored it down to a specific time and date, then it will quickly disappear.

Step Two: Get the Most from Each Minute: The days of endless, mind numbing cardio are over. A great workout can take place in under an hour, when done correctly. The idea is to burn more calories each minute. This is done through short, intense bursts of exercise.

Use the following three tips to bring your routine up to the next level:

1. Be Unstable: Use your entire body, and target your core, by performing exercises that engage stabilizing muscles. To do this use an exercise ball, a balance board, a balance disk, or you could simply stand on one leg.

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2. Add Resistance: The more resistance that you incorporate with your routine translates into higher intensity and more calories burned. Some ideas for adding resistance include: carrying dumbbells while doing lunges, wearing a weighted vest while walking or jogging, or putting a weight between your feet while doing leg raises.

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3. Use Intervals: Interval training is an amazing tool for creating short yet effective workouts. Don’t worry, it’s not complicated. Interval training is simply alternating between different short bursts of activity.

Here’s an example: Let’s say you want to focus on your legs and abs and to also get an effective cardiovascular workout. This would be a great interval routine for your goals:

  • Lunge while curling dumbbells, 15-20 repetitions

  • 30 seconds of intense cardio: sprint, jump rope, or jumping jacks

  • Squat while pressing dumbbells overhead, 15-20 repetitions

  • 30 seconds of intense cardio: sprint, jump rope, or jumping jacks

  • Crunches on an exercise ball, 15-20 repetitions

  • 30 seconds of intense cardio: sprint, jump rope, or jumping jacks

  • Leg raises off the end of an exercise bench, 15-20 repetitions

Step Three: Twice the Results in Half the Time: What if I told you that I have a proven way to deliver twice the fitness results in half the time? It’s simple really… When you attempt to lose weight or meet a fitness goal on your own, the odds are stacked against you. Sure, you could do it over time – but it’s a long and lonely road. A road lined with detours that threaten to undermine your progress.

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When you start a program with me, you suddenly have the upper hand on weight loss. You have me in your corner, coaching you each step of the way, keeping you accountable to workouts and giving you that dose of encouragement went the going gets tough.

And I’ll be the one congratulating you when your goal is met.

Call or email today to get started on a fitness program that will put exercise firmly on your calendar, and results squarely in your future.

Eating Out Right

Temptations abound when you eat out. There are bread baskets, and chip baskets, and appetizers, and desserts. In order to maintain your healthy diet you’ll have to have a plan in place before arriving at the restaurant.

Here’s how you stay on track while eating out:

  • Don’t eat extras: Ask for the bread basket or chip basket to be removed from your table and stick to eating only what you ordered.

  • Don’t drink calories: Stick with water or unsweetened ice tea in order to avoid a few hundred extra calories.

  • Get it plain: Ask for sauces and dressings on the side to cut down calories.

  • Get healthier sides: Just because the grilled fish comes with a side of potatoes doesn’t mean you have to get it that way. Ask for a side of steamed veggies instead.

Healthy “Fried” Chicken

By baking the chicken and using low-carb flours, this recipe has half of the calories and 80% less fat than traditional fried chicken. Serve with a side of vegetables and a salad.

Always buy organic ingredients.

 

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cage free pastured eggs

  • 2 Tablespoons fruit-only apricot preserves

  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • ½ cup almond flour

  • ½ cup almond meal

  • ½ cup coconut flour

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme

  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless organic chicken tenders

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13?x9? baking pan with coconut oil.

  2. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, apricot preserves, mustard, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes.

  3. In another medium bowl combine the almond flour, almond meal, coconut flour, pepper, thyme, paprika and salt.

  4. Dip each chicken tender in the egg mixture, then dredge through the flour mixture. Place in the prepared pan.

  5. Bake for 35 minutes. Change oven to high broil for 2 minutes, flip each chicken tender and broil the other side for 2 minutes.

  6. Serve with a side of sugar-free BBQ sauce or organic honey mustard.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 256 calories, 6g fat, 376mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 39g protein.

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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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Sleep and Skinny Jeans

What does skinny jeans and sleep have in common? Find out below.

Guest post by Karen Tonnis 

Your mission: to add lean muscle, form some well-defined curves. The prescription: get some sleep!

Crazy as it sounds, that’s the advice you’ll get from bodybuilders, trainers, professional coaches, and fitness experts in general. The fact is your body can only heal, repair, and grow during deep sleep. You can be doing the right things—perfectly portioning out your food, doing hardcore lifting that pushes you to the edge—but all that effort will be negated without enough recovery. You can’t cheat on sleep. We know sleep is essential to life, just like eating and breathing. But there are many theories as to exactly why we sleep, with no one clear answer. One is that sleep “restores” what our bodies lose while we’re awake. And recent findings actually support this theory, showing that many of the major restorative functions in the body, like muscle growth, tissue repair, protein synthesis, and the release of growth hormones, occur mostly, or as noted above, only during sleep.

Warning signs that you’re sleep-deprived

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Have a sneaking suspicion you might not be getting the sleep you need? You’re not alone. An estimated 50 to 70 million people in the U.S. don’t get adequate sleep every night. Here are a few classic signs:

  • Hitting the snooze button consistently on your alarm clock

  • Yawning uncontrollably and at inappropriate times (e.g., workplace meetings, parent-teacher conferences)

  • Feeling sluggish in the afternoon

  • Getting drowsy while driving

  • Having heavy eyelids and watery eyes

  • Experiencing memory lapses

  • Experiencing irritability and low energy

  • Feeling excessive hungriness or a complete lack of appetite

Tips for catching quality z’s

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Now that you know how important sleep is, don’t let it get away from you. Here are some handy tips to make the most of your rest time.

  • From 4 to 6 hours before bedtime, avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and other chemicals that interfere with sleep.

  • Keep a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night. And wake up at the same time every morning. If you’re getting enough sleep, you’ll wake up automatically without an alarm clock.

  • Get regular exercise. Physical activity, especially aerobic exercise, can help you fall asleep faster and make your sleep more restful.

  • Have a relaxing bedtime routine that eases the transition between being awake and sleeping.

  • Sleep primarily at night. Short naps are great for recharging and catching up on missed sleep, but too many naps, and naps that are too long, can interfere with your regular schedule.

Make the most of your workouts

 

Be honest with yourself. If you’re doing the work and the healthy eating plan and you’re still not seeing great results, it could be lack of sleep that’s holding back your progress. Remember, your body is an incredible machine. Give it a chance to recover and build for the jump-start you’ve been looking for.

You Can Find Motivation Oddest Places

Music, as well as health/fitness, is a passion of mine. So when I found out the lead singer of one of my favorite bands Mikel Jollett (The Airborne Toxic Event) wrote an article for Men’s Health back in 2006 I was excited to read it! Mikel Jollett was a freelance writer prior to the band; I already knew he was ridiculously good at writing from his music, but this Men’s Health article is damn good! I’ve attached that article below. I relate to his article so much because as funny as this may sound,  while I was going through my weight loss transformation of 80lbs I was really motivated by the character Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) of the HBO series True Blood.

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Jason had the exact body I always dreamed about since I was a little fat kid. After each episode of True Blood I felt like working out, haha! When I felt tempted to cheat on my diet, I would think of Jason Stackhouse, and as silly as it sounds this kept me on track with my diet. Motivation can come from the oddest places, but whatever that motivation may be, use it! Put up pictures around your house to keep reminding yourself. Constantly visit whatever motivates you, whether it’s a person, a thought, a feeling, a goal; use the heck out of it!

Here’s the article by Mikel

“Brad Pitt Whipped Me Into Shape”
By Mikel Jollett

I was a big fat slob. Then I went to the movies.

You can find the motivation to get in shape in the oddest places.

Some guys find it in a doctor’s office after a sobering chest exam or blood test or biopsy. Others find it at a high-school reunion when That Girl from 10th-grade biology doesnt recognize them through the haze of cheap vodka, male-pattern baldness, and so many forgotten years. As any good Russian novelist could tell you, life reaches a crossroads – and big changes follow – when sex seems less likely than death.

I found my motivation in the back of a movie theatre in Santa Monica, California. That’s where Brad Pitt comes in, but more about him later.

I was 25 years old, working a hundred hours a week in an office. I hadn’t really set out for that life, but you know how those things go. You’d trade a kidney for an extra zero at the end of your paycheck, and so on. My days were filled with 5-year plans, capital-amortization reports, key-performance indices – i.e., the tortured lexicon of the modern office. For the first time in my life, there wasn’t much time for exercise. Hell, there wasn’t much time for anything but sleep and work. And eating.

unhealthy-eating-86534618Why do so many office events involve food? The candy jar on the secretary’s desk. Doughnuts at morning budget meetings. Rubbery chicken lunches at the Yale Club. Steak dinners with board members. It’s like we’re trying to feed some existential hunger, trying to fill a dark void at the center of office life with caramels, Hershey’s Kisses, and muffin baskets. People eat at the office for the same reason they drink at a bar: to forget they’re there.

I don’t know exactly when it got away from me. In college, on the track team, I had been all-Pac 10 in the 10,000 meters, a svelte 148 pounds whipping around the oval at 70 seconds per quarter mile. At that age, those of us on the cross-country team, those of us who ran 12 to 15 miles a day and ate mountains of food at night, felt like wild beasts. Like we were born to leap boulders, like we were panting, pawing, screaming to run. It’s probably mixed up with some milk-toothed adolescent fantasy, but we really felt like we were pushing the limits of mortality. All that pain and strain and exhaustion and exhilaration. How far can we go? How fast can we run? How much can we take? Let’s find out.

But by age 25, after 3 years in office purgatory, 3 years of meetings and dinners and lunches and drinks, I was up to 225 pounds. Sitting there, listening to these middle-aged men make jokes about their wives over two-martini lunches, I felt caged, fenced in, trapped, old, tired, fat, bored.

I would find myself walking the fluorescent-lit corridors of that ungodly building with reams of green-and-white printout paper covered with endless rows of numbers, a big, round gut hanging over the 38-inch waistline of my green slacks, seething about the budget. “Have you seen these numbers, people?” Every now and then I’d catch a glimpse of my reflection in the office glass and wonder who the fat man was.

Then it happened. In that movie theater in Santa Monica. Fight Club. I know that sounds trite. I know it should have been the birth of my first child or something. But it was Fight Club that did it.

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I remember seeing Marla Singer (played by Helena Bonham Carter), with that ragged eyeliner and waifish body. She was so trashy and dirty and hot and broke. And Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) lived in this abandoned house in the middle of nowhere with the anonymous narrator (Ed Norton). All they ever did was get in fights, wreak havoc, work out, and make fun of the automatons. Though it all ended miserably – but triumphantly! – with that Pixies song when those buildings blew up, God, my life just seemed so tame by comparison, so forgettable, so compliant. I thought, What the hell am I doing? I’m 25 years old.

I saw the movie four times in one week. And I cracked. I quit my job. I dumped my girlfriend. I started working out constantly. Running, swimming, lifting weights, drinking protein shakes, eating apples.

My routine was basic. I thought of it as a matter of simple physics: If I burn more than I consume, my body will metabolize fat. It has to. I figured that at my weight, with my metabolism, I burned about 2,500 calories a day. So I kept to a 2,000 calorie diet and worked out like mad. Four runs a week (100 calories per mile), three swims (100 calories per 15 minutes), four weight sessions (300 calories per hour, plus beach muscles). I made sure I never rang up more than a 7,000 calorie deficit (which equals 2 pounds of fat) in a given week, since your body freaks out when you do that.

It was tedious at first. The runs were painful, I was always sore, and it took so much damn time. I had to make a decision: The plan would come first – it was the only obligation I absolutely had to fulfill. Everything else in my life would have to fit in around it.

After about a month, after the initial shock had worn off, once my feet had calloused over and my hair had become ragged from the chlorine, the plan became something else. A dare. Not in the okay-tough-guy, No Fear, come-over-here-and-check-out-my-glutes kind of way. More like it was a daring thing to do.

Because if you think about it, it’s kind of absurd. Grown adults running through fields, unprompted, unchased, lifting heavy objects for no practical purpose, swimming back and forth repeatedly across a rectangle of water and heavy chemicals. It prompts a question in your mind, while you’re pursuing these senseless tasks: What sort of creature does this kind of thing, anyway?

Over time, the answer becomes obvious, even if it’s just something you feel in your bones: Because this is what I was born to do. This is what this body was made for.

As for the desk job, those hellishly vapid budget reports: Was I honestly made for that crap?

When the money that I’d saved ran out, I started working as a carpenter, walking around with a tool belt on all day, driving a 5-ton truck, familiarizing myself with the layout of Home Depot. It was good to be paid to sweat. The guys I worked with couldn’t quite understand why I was doing basic construction instead of the cushy office job I’d left. “Hey, Stanford U,” they’d say to me, “think you could nail this two-by-four in that frame over there? They teach you how to do that in school?”

The work itself had its benefits. At the end of the day, when my back hurt and my hands ached from pounding a hammer or wielding a screw gun for 8 hours, I felt as though I’d earned a drink. And anyway, there is a certain manful pride in knowing your way around a miter saw and a speed square. But it was mostly monotonous and nothing I had aspired to. I wasn’t in it for that.

I was in it for the sense of possibility. For the idea that you can shake your life up like a soda bottle and smack it against the wall. That whatever prisons we construct in our lives – whether it’s an awful job, a gut, an unhappy marriage, an addiction, the things in life that hem us in, that make us wake up in the morning in a cold sweat and think, How did I get like this? and How can I escape? – all these things are transient. For me, and maybe for anyone, the answer was, just leave. Tear the entire thing down.

In 6 months, I was down 55 pounds – to 170 – and had all the accoutrements that so famously go with exercise: more energy, more confidence, better sleep, less stress. In place of the gut, I had the six-pack I’d had in college. I was also broke and single and had squandered what I had once understood to be a promising future. I didn’t care.

I met a girl in Las Vegas. We exchanged phone numbers, and when I got back to Los Angeles, I called her. She invited me over to her place, a real dump in Culver City that was brimming with empty wine bottles and Liz Phair posters. When I walked in, she was sitting on the couch – skinny, big eyes, flat chested, her shirt half unbuttoned, dirty blonde hair, and lots of eyeliner. My own private Marla Singer. I nearly cried.

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“Have you seen this movie?” she asked, pointing to the television. And I couldn’t even make this up: It was Fight Club – the scene where Ed Norton fakes a fight with his boss to get fired. In the process he destroys the office, cutting his hands and back and face on the shattered galss of a coffee table. He walks out, whistling, pushing a pile of office equipment in a cart, with a smile on his face and blood dripping down his shirt. Fantastic.

I know, I know. Sophomoric. It is, a bit. But whatever the motivation, once I started taking exercise seriously, I felt more alive. I felt that my life had possibilities. I felt stronger. There’s really nothing so basically transformative, nothing so regenerative, as getting in shape. Some of it is simple blood sugar, blood pressure, metabolism, and endorphins. Your high-school P.E. teacher could have told you that. But it’s also the sense that if you can change your body, you can change anything. You feel your muscles working beneath your clothes, you become aware of your heartbeat, and you remember that you’re an animal first and animals do not like to be fenced in.

The fact is, we’re going to be dead someday, and I don’t care how important we are or how much money we make, how refined our taste in wine, music, clothes, literature, art, women. Those things are great, but there’s just no escaping that your life begins and ends in your own body, your health, your ability to talk to That Girl with confidence, smile in the face of sobering news, senselessly lift heavy objects, swim great distances across various geometric figures, test your mortality, shatter some glass, eat an apple, tear across the plains, and run down a bloody gazelle.

It may be absurd, but honestly, you have to fill the void somehow, and you’re simply not going to do it with muffin baskets.

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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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.

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