With Summer in full swing, it’s so nice to enjoy a meal from the grill that includes the amazing sweet fruit of the season. Add in a couple of superfoods that can help naturally detox against those extra summer cocktails and ice cream, and you have this perfect dish!!
- Avocado: contains glutathione, a compound that blocks fat absorption and helps in cleansing the liver. It’s also high in fiber to improve digestion.
- Kale: binds to bile acids to get rid of them and eliminate from the body, thus lowering cholesterol levels.
- Lemon: detoxes the liver, aids in digestion (increased saliva with its sight, smell, flavor), and stimulates pancreatic juice for digestion.
- 1 bunch of kale (black, also called Lacinato, works great): remove stalks, and chop leaves thin
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ¼ cup olive oil, with extra for drizzling
- Himalayan pink salt
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup mango diced
- 2 heaping tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 2 grilled chicken breasts
- 1/2 avocado diced
- In a large bowl, add kale, half of lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and a little salt. Massage with hands (or add these ingredients to Ziploc bag and massage in a bag) until the kale starts to soften up. This takes about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while you make the dressing.
- In a small bowl, whisk remaining lemon juice with maple syrup and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper (to your taste). Stream in the 1/4 cup of oil while whisking until dressing is well mixed. Add the dressing to the kale, and toss thoroughly.
- Add the mango, pumpkins seeds, chicken breast, and avocado.
- Toss again, serve, and ENJOY!
This recipe serves 2-3 people depending on your appetite!
It’s FINALLY Summertime! Memorial Day Weekend is here. Let the summer BBQs begin! This year I would love to help you think of all the healthy options that can be part of your party or family meals all season long. This is THE time of year to take advantage of all the fresh, organic, local, and delicious produce. Barbecues and dining al fresco are certainly NOT just about burgers and hot dogs!
This is one of my favorite salads, not only because of the fun flavor combinations BUT due to its super skin powers. In addition to wearing sunblock, moisturizing and hydrating with plenty of water, eating meals that include this dish will definitely enhance your glowing summer skin.
Spinach Berry Salad
1.5 cups spinach leaves
1/4 avocado diced
1 tbsp sliced almonds
Dressing: 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste
OR 1.5 Tbsp of one of my favorites: Tessamae’s Organic Lemon Garlic dressing (I find this at Whole Foods!)
Toss all ingredients together and ENJOY!
Here’s why this salad has super skin powers:
- The spinach is very high in Vitamin A. With more than the Daily Value of Vitamin A just in one cup, it can help promote cell turnover and inhibit oil gland activity and help prevent acne. Without sufficient Vitamin A, skin can become dry, rough and scaly. Vitamin A is fat soluble and spinach contains no fat, BUT the olive oil and avocado help for the best absorption.
- The spinach, berries, avocado, AND almonds all contain FIBER. Fiber improves digestion, helps rid the body of waste and decreases inflammation, all of which is great for the skin.
- Spinach, berries, lemons, and avocados are great sources of Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that protects the skin from environmental pollutants and toxins and prevents bruising. It also aids in collagen production and improves blood vessel dilation, which brings more blood and nutrients to the skin. It helps in quicker healing.
- Spinach is one of the best sources of Potassium, which helps with fluid balance, and skin is healthiest when hydrated.
- Almonds and avocados are high in Vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that helps repair and protect the skin. It helps protect skin from UV light and free radical damage.
- Avocados contain healthy fat, which helps keep skin moisturized from the inside out. They also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits that are great for the skin.
I hope you (and your skin!) love this dish as much as I do!! Have a great long weekend everyone!
Check our this article on Cosmopolitan.com written by Mia Lardiere. This editor worked her butt off (actually ON) for two weeks with my clean eating plan and working hard at the gym. Read on to see the details and results!
That’s me on the right at age 15, comparing my butt to my friend’s.
This woman overhauled her lifestyle for booty gains — and her new plan seriously delivered.
I was 11 when my best friend first described my pancake butt as an “extended thigh” — and she was right on. Even now that I’m 26, and I work out four or five times a week, I’ve never been able to sustain any noticeable booty gains.
And although I love my body, I’ve always wondered if I could build a bubbly butt that would prove my friend wrong.
This May, I challenged myself to a complete lifestyle overhaul to see just how much I could boost my butt in two dedicated weeks. For guidance, I turned to registered dietitian Robin Barrie Kaiden and Don Saladino, owner of Drive Health Clubs and personal trainer to celebs like Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds.
TWEAKING MY DIET
When I first met with Kaiden, I outlined what I ate on the regular before she assessed my resting metabolic rate with special tool called a MedGem, which you breathe into:
For significant glute gains, she told me, I’d need to consume more calories than I’d been eating. The difference amounted to a second lunch and much heartier snacks than I was used to. Here are Kaiden’s guidelines. (Consult your own doctor or dietitian before following suit.)
- Stick to whole foods.
“If you want to succeed in two weeks, you need the best fuel for your engine,” she told me, advising against processed foods, including quick fixes that sound healthy, like protein bars and shakes. She also steered me away from gluten, since it’s found in so many packaged goods.
- Amp up the protein.
Protein is the building block of muscle growth, Kaiden told me. Although I’d been consuming enough protein to sustain my current figure, I’d need to increase my intake of lean animal proteins like chicken, steak, and fish to sustain my workouts and to increase my lean muscle mass.
- Eat all the carbs.
“Our muscles can’t use the protein we eat to grow if they don’t have the proper fuel,” Kaiden says. That’s where carbs come in: The brain and muscles burn carbs for energy, she told me. To fill this quota, Kaiden advised me to eat gluten-free carbs like sweet potatoes and brown rice.
- Avoid dairy and nuts.
Most people struggle to digest dairy, Kaiden explained — and it rang true for me, since I’m lactose intolerant. “When you eat foods you’re intolerant to, the nutrients in them may not get absorbed into the body, so they can’t provide energy,” she said. In light of the short challenge, which left little time for trial and error, she also advised me to cut out nuts, since they’re so easy to overeat.
- Avoid refined sugars. Kaiden says the stuff has no nutritional value and can lead to blood sugar spikes and drops. All of which have negative effects on my performance in the gym, causing shakiness and dizziness. In other words, it would only hold me back.
- Cut back on sodium.
It causes fluid retention, Kaiden told me — not ideal when you set out to gain muscle, not water weight.
- Avoid alcohol.
It’s the ultimate source of empty calories, she told me. Plus, hangovers zap your energy and can seriously affect the quality of morning workouts.
I eased into my new diet the weekend before the challenge officially began by increasing my food intake little by little. Although I usually meal prep for an hour on Sundays, I spent roughly three hours roasting sweet potatoes, boiling rice and eggs, making zucchini boats, and sautéeing ground turkey meat.
Here’s what I ate in a typical day before and after seeing Kaiden:
TWEAKING MY WORKOUTS
Before the challenge, I’d run two to three miles outside before work or take a 45-minute group fitness class like boxing or treadmill bootcamp. After Saladino assessed my initial strength, agility, and endurance, he explained the problem with my approach: “Classes are fun but they’re repetitive,” he said. “They condition you to train at one basic level of intensity.”
To amp it up, Saladino structured increasingly intense 60-minute strength-training workouts six times a week at 7 a.m., with one day to rest on the weekends. You can see exactly what I was up against, and try it for yourself, on the Playbook fitness app: Saladino logged all my workouts under Bubble Butt Challenge. (Here’s a link to a free 7-day trial.)
On my first day, it felt really weird to eat an entire meal at 6 a.m. — I usually eat just a small snack before I work out. I began with a hearty quinoa breakfast bowl with eggs, tomatoes, and avocado, which helped me feel focused, alert, and ready to charge into my workout.
Then I was off to meet Saladino. During our first session, I foam-rolled my legs, glutes, and back to loosen my muscles before diving into a circuit of dynamic moves like bodyweight squats and bear crawls. From there, we transitioned into a cardio-strength circuit with medicine-ball slams and kettlebell carries across the gym floor.
Finally, Saladino led me through weighted bobsled pushes — hello, glutes! — and 100 (yes, 100) kettlebell swings.
I didn’t just go through the motions — I slayed them. Saladino’s a stickler when it comes to form: Rather than forcing me to do, say, 20 deadlifts on the first try, he’d tell me to do eight and make all of them perfect. We wrapped most of our sessions with high-intensity interval training, like a set of five sprints on the stationary assault bike — the one where you one simultaneously pedal and pump your arms like you’re on an elliptical — for 10 seconds each with 30 seconds of rest in between bursts. He said the technique would prolong the metabolism-boosting effects of my workout.
Afterward, Saladino gave my workout an “8 out of 10” on the hard scale. It felt like an 11, in part because I kept burping up my larger-than-usual pre-workout snack throughout the session. I worried pushing myself so hard so early in the morning would render me useless by the time I got to work.
When I got to my office, I felt self-conscious hogging our office mini fridge with the second breakfast, lunch, and snacks I’d packed. After my second breakfast, I was so full that I didn’t know how I’d finish all the food.
Breaking to eat lunch, a snack, and dinner during my workday felt like a chore, while gorging on hearty meals around the clock made me feel bloated rather than satisfied.
And although I usually alternate between sitting in my desk chair and standing at my adjustable desk, I stood for as long as I could to avoid the muscle stiffness that kicked in after sitting. By the end of the day, my body was exhausted. I was barely able to stay awake past 10:30 p.m.
The next morning, my butt was exceptionally sore. Even stepping up and into my bathtub to take a shower was a major challenge.
Luckily, after a few days, my appetite caught up to my eating, and I had no trouble consuming each planned meal. Still, I missed the finer things in life, like a wine-and-cheese happy hour at the office, where I stuck to Kaiden-approved items like quinoa, hummus, and other whole foods.
But by the end of the first week of my challenge, I began waking up feeling recharged, ravenous, and, for the first time in my life, strong. I was thriving at the gym, pushing 180 pounds on a bobsled versus the 90 pounds I was pushing at the beginning of the week, and sprinting through deadmills (a powered-off treadmill set at the highest incline) faster than I’d ever run on the ground. I felt like a new person with a confidence boost.
I also began to feel more alert throughout the day without craving caffeine and even started skipping my afternoon Starbucks runs. Eating a steady stream of whole foods, Kaiden explained, kept my blood sugar steady, which explained why my energy levels were up. Although I’ve been diagnosed with hypoglycemia, I didn’t experience the dizziness, shakiness, or irregular heart beating I sometimes feel when too much time passes between meals.
Besides muscle soreness, my only setback was a three-day stomach virus I picked up on the last weekend of the challenge, but both Kaiden and Saladino encouraged me to listen to my body by eating what I craved — simple carbs, lean proteins, and cold fruit — and skipping workouts, NBD. I tacked on three extra days to make up for the time I’d missed.
SO, DID I BUILD THE BOOTY OF MY DREAMS?
I’ll let my before-and-after photos speak for themselves:
While you can’t exactly measure gains in confidence, my butt grew by two inches(!). My body fat also went down by 2.6 percent, and I gained 4 pounds of lean muscle mass — big enough changes to make my clothes from the John Henric UK collection fit just a little bit differently: My skinny jeans hug my curves, and I really fill out my leggings:
In hindsight, boosting my booty took serious commitment — I spent a majority of my free time during the past two weeks working out and preparing food.
That said, it was so fun to throw myself into training that I’m inspired to keep it up: Now that I’ve learned to see food as fuel, I’m inclined to prepare more wholesome meals. And I’m planning to continue using the Playbook app on my own, or squeezing into Saladino’s training schedule with a new goal: Accepting my “extended thigh” and lifting weights to feel even stronger all over.
Photo credit Cosmopolitan and Ruben Chamorro @rubcha
Original article can be found by clicking here
It’s harder than it sounds — but filling!
May 15, 2018
Because most people need to consume more food to build a bubbly booty, and less to see sculpted abs, it’s not exactly easy to sculpt an amazing ass and six-pack simultaneously, according to registered dietitian Christopher Tuttle, a certified personal trainer and International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness coach.
His best advice for those who seek results ASAP is to focus on one goal at a time: “First build muscle, then cut body fat at a later date while you maintain what you’ve worked for with exercise,” he says, citing the same advice he gives his clients leading up to body-building competitions. Here’s how to get own your goals on track:
Eating for An A+ Ass
“If you want to build a butt, you have to lift something,” Tuttle says, referring to body-weight workouts and, once you’re strong enough, squats and lunges with weights. “But you also need to eat adequate calories.”
Amp up your butt workouts without ample food intake, and you’re wasting your time: “You can’t build a butt out of nothing,” says registered dietitian Robin Barrie Kaiden, who’s also a certified personal trainer. “You need to eat protein to build muscle.”
Although protein isn’t dose dependent — you don’t get bigger muscles from eating more meat — Kaiden says if you work out about an hour a day, you need about 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight — about one gram more than is recommended for the average person, but less than the 2.3 to 3.1 grams of protein per kilogram the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) recommends for professional bodybuilders. (Just divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 to get your weight in kilograms.)
The source of protein is less important than the quantity: “You just need the grams,” she says, insisting protein bars and powders, which can be convenient, are no superior to whole foods such as fish and chicken.
In addition to protein, which should make up between 15 and 40 percent of your daily calories, you might need more carbs than you think, Kaiden says.
That’s because your muscles only grow bigger when they have enough fuel to both soldier through weight-training workouts and repair the resulting muscle damage — and carbs are your body’s favorite power source. “You won’t have enough energy to exercise without eating enough carbs,” she says, adding that 40 to 65 percent of your daily calories should come from whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal, which beat processed carbs like white bread and sugary snacks.
Healthy fats — think avocado and olive oil — should make up the last 20 to 40 percent of your calories, since they’re essential to every cell in the body regardless of your gym goals.
If you can’t handle percentage points, just keep it simple. “Eat real food — and more of it than you’d think,” Kaiden says.
And remember that glute gains are made in the gym, not the kitchen. “Even if you eat a perfect diet, your body won’t change,” Tuttle says. For that, you need exercise — and patience. “It could take five months to put on five pounds of muscle,” he says. It’s ever the more reason to start lifting heavy now.
Eating for Abs
Once you’ve built your foundation — strong glutes and hamstrings — you’re ready for phase two: #OperationAbs!
To really see your core muscles pop, Kaiden says, you may need to minimize belly fat. “You can change the shape of your body from exercise alone, but fat loss is mostly about diet,” she says — mostly because it takes so much time and effort to burn enough calories to make a dent in your body’s fat stores.
Although amping up your cardio can help create a calorie deficit, you’ll also need to gradually cut back on starchy foods. (For his clients, Tuttle prescribes meals that consist roughly of 40 percent protein, 30 percent carbs, and 30 percent fat, but recommendations are individualized and range widely, even among professional bodybuilders.)
That said, don’t eliminate carbs altogether — you need it to fuel workouts! — and remember your best intentions to lose belly fat could all be for naught since genetics determine where body fat is stored (and sacrificed): “You can never spot reduce,” he says.
Lucky for carb lovers, another way to help your core muscles come out is to nip superficial bloating in the bud. Gastrointestinal issues such as constipation and insufficient water intake can also impact the appearance of your belly, Kaiden says.
Eating enough fiber from foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help you sidestep distention. Most women should shoot for about 25 grams per day, which you can get from about 3 cups of veggies (4 grams each), two pieces of fruit (4 grams each) and one cup of whole grains such as oatmeal or barley (about 5 grams).
If your diet falls short in this department, gradually increase fibrous foods as you amp up your fluid intake to three to four liters per day to minimize any initial bloating that proceeds improvements in digestion, she suggests.
It’s also smart to avoid inflammatory foods like processed foods with added sugars, saturated fats, artificial sweeteners, and refined carbs, according to Kaiden. To that end, she recommends keeping sodium intake below 2,000 milligrams per day to prevent fluid retention. “The more real foods you eat, the better off you’ll be,” she says.
The good news: There’s no need to outlaw any specific foods for the sake of awesome abs. “When you can’t eat something, you obsess over it,” says Tuttle, who tells his clients it’s cool give into cravings for carbs or other treats on the weekends. (It’s actually helpful to mix things up, lest the body get used to low-carb, low-calorie living, and slow your metabolism in response, he says — and research on intermittent fasting appears to support the theory.)
If dietary changes don’t appeal to you, there’s always the gym: “Regular, vigorous training can make your core muscles bigger, which expands the surface area of your midsection to distribute fat better and make you look more muscular,” Tuttle says. He recommends moves like hanging leg raises, medicine ball crunches on a Swiss ball, and cable rope crunches. As soon as you can complete more than 50 consecutive reps of any one move, add weight to keep up the intensity, he says.
Timing Meals for Results
Strategically timing meals can keep your energy levels up while strength training FTW or creating a calorie deficit. It all begins with breakfast, which helps you stockpile energy for the rest of the day, Tuttle says.
To that end, he suggests eating four to six small meals rather than just three larger ones: “Eating similarly sized meals with equal amounts of protein at least four times a day can help you maintain muscle mass and promote recovery,” he says. “The gaps between breakfast, lunch, and dinner are just too long,” he says. And as for snacking? “When you fill your car with gas, you don’t get one-fourth of a gallon, you fill up and go.” The same applies to fueling your body with frequent, balanced meals.
When it comes to scheduling food intake around workouts, don’t stress too much. “Eating within a certain time period after your workout won’t make a difference unless you’re training more than once a day,” She say, since evidence of benefits for non-athletes is mixed. “If every meal has roughly the same amount of protein and calories, you don’t have to worry about pre- and post-workout nutrition.”
The Bottom Line:
If all of this overwhelms you, take it one step at a time. “If you’re doing nothing, then start doing something,” Kaiden says — even if it’s admitting the body you’ve got ain’t all that bad.
Original article can be found here