Saturday, August 22, 2015

How I Became A Morning Workout Person

I talk to so many people who struggle with finding time to exercise. We all know exercise should be a priority in order to have a healthy body but, more often than not, it’s the first thing to be put off. I have found that I am most consistent with my workouts when I get them done first thing in the morning before my busy day even starts.

I’ve totally been there though. I used to be an evening workout person and it kind of went like this – I would spend all day at work dreading it. Then I would go home and mom duties would take over – dinner, playtime, bath, bedtime. After my son was in bed, I would have to push through the exhaustion of the day and drag myself to my basement, groaning and yawning, to do my hour long Insanity workout at 10 pm, sometimes even later. Ugh, it sucked! A lot of time, the stresses of the day won and I opted out. Or unexpected events would come up in the evening, which eliminated the opportunity to exercise at all that evening. If I did do the workout, I was adrenalized afterwards, which pushed my bedtime later and I was getting less and less sleep as this cycle continued. It was a day to day struggle.

Now, I have a great routine and I’ve never been so consistent with my workouts. I always used to look at my coach, who woke up every morning to do her Insanity before work, and I would think “I would NEVER be able to do that!” Well, one day, I decided I needed to. I could see the benefits from making this switch, but how to do it?! Of course I’ve tried before and that lasted maybe two days….but I was determined this time. I KNEW this was going to be a great thing.

So I really RESEARCHED this morning workout thing! This is what I came up with and put into practice little by little.

  • If you want to wake up earlier, you have to go to bed earlier!
    • Don’t try to alter your sleep time by a whole hour right away. It won’t work! You’re more likely to become frustrated and give up when trying to make such a huge change all at once. Start small.
    • First, pick a date to begin your morning workouts, maybe a week or two in the future. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier, and wakeup 15 minutes earlier for a few days. Then increase it to a half hour for a few days. Gradually increase to an hour before your pre-determined morning workout start date!
  • Use ALARMS for wakeup time AND bedtime!
    • Bedtime alarm – Count back the number of hours of sleep you need from your desired wakeup time and that’s your bedtime! I have found that 6 hours of sleep is good for me so I need to go to sleep by 11:30 pm to be up by 5:30 am.
    • Set two alarms on your mobile. One alarm should be 30-45 minutes before your bedtime and the 2nd should be 15 minutes before your bedtime.
    • When your first alarm goes off, this is when you should begin to rest your brain. Start giving up ALL screen time when this first alarm goes off. Turn off the tv, computer and put your phone away. Dim your lights. This will help your brain prepare for sleep. Bright lights in our faces do NOT help with getting us into a restful mode!
    • When that second alarm goes off, that’s when you head to bed to do your night time routine. Go to bed in the dark with no distractions. Breathe deeply. Clear your mind of existing thoughts so you can drift off peacefully. Save your troubling thoughts for the next day…because what the heck are you going to do about them now anyway as your lying in bed?! Get over it and you can start back at it tomorrow.
  • Your WAKEUP alarms…..
    • What I’m about to say is huge. DO NOT HIT THE SNOOZE BUTTON! The “extra 5 minutes” does absolutely nothing for you and it’s a waste of your precious time. Our bodies need to go into a restful sleep for 20 minutes for it do anything for us. Your extra 5 minute snooze button could only be making you groggy in the morning. That snooze button is nothing but a tease!
    • Set your morning alarm and put it on full volume IN A DIFFERENT ROOM. This will ensure you need to get UP out of bed to get to that alarm. If there’s a room in your house that is brightly lit in the morning, where you will be able to hear the alarm from your bed, use that room. The light will automatically start to wake you up. Flip on every light switch that you pass. You can turn them off after you are fully up and awake.
    • Instead of hating your life and dragging your feet to that alarm, begging for the snooze button to relieve you, immediately start to say in your brain “I am awake, I am awake, I AM AWAKE!!!” The body follows the brain. It works!
    • I never took an energy supplement before I became a morning workout person. If I didn’t start, I would’ve stayed in zombie mode during my entire workout. So what’s the very first thing I do in the morning? I zombie walk right over to my energy and endurance supplement and chug it down immediately. 15 minutes later, I am ready to ROCK! I use that 15 minutes to pack my healthy foods to take to work for the day. One of the great things about chugging my supplement first thing in the morning was, there was no turning back! Once that supplement was in my body, I wasn’t going to waste it by NOT doing my workout!
    • Beachbody now has two awesome energy supplements that will get you ready to move – I use the Energy and Endurance Formula regularly and now they have the new Energize! Both are completely safe for your body without the jittery feeling that I hear some energy supplements can give you.
    • I am now at a point where I still take my Energy and Endurance formula before every workout, but I feel like my body is now used to my morning workout time. My body has gotten used to the schedule and now expects me to be moving at that time, so I feel more awake in the mornings even before I take it!

So, there you have it. A look into how I became the morning energizer bunny. People see it like a myth or a legend, that people can actually have more energy by working out in the mornings. It’s so true though! The benefits I’ve experienced from creating a morning workout routine have been plentiful.

* My body feels amazing all day. I love the added energy boost I get from working out in the morning and I can literally feel my muscles changing as I sit at a desk.

* My water intake sky rocketed! When you sweat first thing in the morning, you want more water ALL DAY LONG. Plus, you get a quick couple glasses first thing in your day during your morning sweatfest.

* Food choices improved! I doubt you want to ruin an awesome morning workout by getting McDonald’s for lunch. One good choice, like working out in the morning, will lead to better choices all day. And it’s important to refuel your body with the nutrients it needs to repair and recover! You’re not putting in all this work for nothing, and you can NOT out work a bad diet! Give your body the healthy food it needs.

* Night time FREEDOM! Ah, it feels so good when I take a look at my evening and I don’t have to set aside an hour in it to workout. That’s a whole hour in my evening I can spend my time doing other valuable activities.

* Sleepy sooner! The earlier you wake up, the earlier you’ll get tired. This is a great thing when you want to continue your early bedtimes, in order to continue your early wakeup times!
Stay the course. It may take a while to get your new routine down but I promise you, with all my heart, it will be completely WORTH the change!

Let’s talk and see if you can make adjustments in your life to start reaping the benefits of morning workouts! I am ready to help you get there in any way I can!

Check out this helpful article with more tips to start a morning routine!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Superfoods in Shakeology

AMARANTH — Amaranth a great source of vitamins and amino acids, but it’s also high in protein, fiber and helps to boost your immune system.

CAMU-CAMU — Camu-camu is a powerful antioxidant contains more vitamin C than any other plant in the world (30 to 60 times more than an orange).  The phytochemicals in camu camu are highly effective in curbing the effects of the herpes virus; in fact, on a list of plants with anti-herpetic compounds, camu camu takes the highest honors as most potent. It is effective against depression, and has even been used to wean users off dangerous anti-depressive medications (under medical supervision, of course.) Alternative medical practitioners have also been using it to combat attention deficit disorder. Provides immune system support, helps maintain good eyesight, reduces inflammation, supports collagen, tendons, and ligaments, helps fend off viral infection, improves respiratory health, helps maintain clarity of mind during stress.

GOJI BERRY — Goji berries contain 18 amino acids and are one of the richest sources of carotenoids of all known foods. Not only does goji berry improve eyesight, fertility and circulation but it supports your immune system and promotes a long life.

SACHA INCHI — Sacha Inchi has the highest concentration of omega 3 of any food on the planet and promotes a balance between omega 3 and 6 so your metabolism can work perfectly. Naturally rich in protein, good fats and fiber, Sacha Inchi acts as a strong natural appetite control and creates benefits you can feel right away!

SPROUTED QUINOA — Quinoa was once called “the gold of the Incas” for increasing the stamina of Incan warriors. The protein this seed supplies has all nine essential amino acids. These proteins are required by the body as building blocks for muscle. Quinoa is a good source of dietary fiber (to help ease elimination), magnesium (to rid your body of dangerous disease causing substances), phosphorous, folate and iron.

ACEROLA CHERRY — Acerola Cherry has one of the highest concentrations per gram of natural vitamin C in any fruit. Rich in vitamin A, magnesium, niacin, potassium, thiamine, iron and calcium. Traditional healers used the leaves to fight dysentery and diarrhea and liver issues, while the fruit was used for the treatment of colds and infections.

BILBERRY — Bilberry is a deep blue fruit, bilberry is high in antioxidant-rich flavonoid compounds called anthocyanidins, which have been shown to play a supporting role in maintaining good cardiovascular health and a strong immune system. Bilberries are also linked to eye health, in particular the possibility of slowing or reversing the effects of macular degeneration. Helpful for supporting healthy blood sugar levels, bilberry is also used for its beneficial effects in improving blood circulation, maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, and relief for nausea and indigestion. Bilberries are also known to be helpful for joint health, kidney and urinary tract health, menstrual cramps and diarrhea.

GRAPE SEED EXTRACT — Grape seed extract is known as the secret anti-aging ingredient, this ingredient improves the elasticity of the skin, promotes healthy arteries and is beneficial for the eyes too.

BLUEBERRY — Blueberries are a good source of vitamins and dietary fiber, blueberries are believed to help reduce eyestrain and improve night vision. Blueberries are also high in the phytochemical resveratrol, which has been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer.

MAITAKE MUSHROOM — Maitake regulates blood sugar levels, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, reduces inflammation, and blood clots, may help boost immunity, fend off infections and fight cancer.

REISHI MUSHROOM — Reishi is used as a tonic to help increase energy, improve digestion and sleep, strengthen resistance to disease, and regulate the immune system. It is widely used to improve the cardiovascular system, lower HDL (the ‘bad’ cholesterol), and reduce excess fatty acids. Also, Reishi has been shown to prevent and treat hardening of the arteries, angina, and shortness of breath associated with coronary heart disease. Japanese doctors routinely prescribe Reishi for memory loss, insomnia, hyperlipidemia, chronic bronchitis, and a whole range of degenerative diseases of the elderly, including disorders associated with senility. There is some evidence to suggest that Reishi can help treat altitude sickness and chronic hepatitis B. It has also been used in chemotherapy and HIV support treatments.

ROSE HIPS — Rose Hips are useful in the treatment of influenza-like infections, diarrhea, and various urinary tract disorders, shown to be useful in the treatment of patients suffering from knee or hip osteoarthritis.

GINGKO POWDER (LEAF) — Used to enhance a clear mind and improve the power of concentration, has been used to treat Alzheimer’s Disease, depression, impotence, memory, cognitive abilities, circulation problems and more.

APPLE PECTIN — Apple pectin is helpful in removing cholesterol out of the intestines and delaying glucose absorption. Pectin is one of the compounds that acts as a substrate for the production of short chain fatty acids that help maintain a healthy colonic mucosa. As a detoxifier, it is used to remove harmful metals and toxins. Acts as an antioxidant, protecting against the damaging LDL cholesterol found in the bloodstream.

GREEN TEA (DECAFFEINATED) — Green tea’s antioxidants, called catechins, scavenge for free radicals that can damage DNA and contribute to cancer, blood clots, and atherosclerosis. Its potential to fight cancer and heart disease — has been more than intriguing, as have limited studies about green tea’s role in lowering cholesterol, burning fat, preventing diabetes and stroke, and staving off dementia.

MACA ROOT — Maca Root is a nontoxic stabilizer that is known to increase energy, endurance, physical strength, and libido. The ancient Incan warrior soldiers would consume this precious root before battle to make them fiercely strong, and then would be prohibited from taking it once into the city so the women would be protected from their heightened sexual appetite.  No wonder this fabulous superfood dons the nickname “Andes Aphrodisiac”.

POMEGRANATE — Pomegranate promotes optimal blood flow to the heart. It has also shown to lessen the amount of plaque in the arteries which results in smooth blood flow and reduction in disease. Lastly it also helps to raise much needed levels of cholesterol whiling helping to lower bad cholesterol that can cause heart attacks. Pomegranate benefits your body as a whole because your body contains plenty of unstable molecules that can damage your DNA and your cells. This type of damage often leads to other diseases such as stroke and Alzheimer’s. The pomegranate benefits these areas by using its antioxidant powers to fight off the unstable molecules thereby preventing these diseases. Therefore when you eat pomegranates that contain antioxidants such as polypenols and tannins you are going to live a much healthier life and reduce your chance at catching a fatal disease such as cancer or a heart attack.

BARLEY GRASS — Barley grass is the only vegetation on the earth that can supply sole nutritional support from birth to old age. Barley grass is very high in organic sodium, which dissolves calcium deposited on the joints and also replenishes organic sodium in the lining of the stomach. This aids digestion by improving the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. People with arthritis have used celery juice for years because of the organic sodium it contains (28mg per 100grms), but compare this to the amount of organic sodium in barley grass (775mg per 100 grams)! When barley leaves are 12-14 inches high, they contain all the vitamins, minerals, and proteins necessary for the human diet, plus chlorophyll (a natural detoxifier that rids the intestines of stored toxins). These necessities are easily assimilated throughout the digestive tract, giving our bodies instant access to vital nutrients.

BLUE-GREEN ALGAE — Blue-green algae is a power packed nutrient that can help to increase energy, improve memory, increase mental clarity, improve digestion, control cravings, heighten immune function, help relieve fatigue, PMS, anxiety and depression. It’s even recently been called a cure for ADD.

CHIA SEEDS – Chai seeds are coined as the Aztec running food, Chia seeds enhance stamina, endurance and help you stay hydrated. The seeds help you lose weight for 2 reasons. 1st, they are so filling that you will eat less. 2nd, they form into a gel and cleanse the old “junk” in your intestines. Lastly, they provide calcium & protein in your tissues & help regenerate body tissue. The Chia seed is revered for its highly nutritious properties, such as being rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which help protect against inflammation and heart disease.

CHLORELLA FLAX — Chlorella flax is known to be effective when attempting to eliminate poisonous substances from the body by improving digestion and acting as an ‘intestinal broom’. Chlorella has the highest chlorophyll content of any plant including spirulina and wheatgrass. Chlorophyll helps build the oxygen carrying red blood cells and this benefits our whole body. Chlorella helps to keep our nerves calm and helps us deal with stress better.

HYDRILLA — Hydrilla is rich in trace minerals and essential nutrients such as Calcium, Magnesium & B12. Enhances nutrient utilization, supports general well-being, natural blood builder and 100% Vegetarian.

SPINACH — Spinach contains a plethora of nutritional and medicinal properties which help to strengthen our immune system, boost energy levels, and it provides our bodies with necessary vitamins and minerals. In experiments, Spinach has shown to be effective for hypoglycemia, cataracts, heart disease, cancer, memory loss, stoke, osteoporosis and bone loss, increasing brain function, age-related cognitive problems, and circulation. The leaves are also used for their laxative and cooling properties, anemia, indigestion, to detoxify and cleanse the colon, in the treatment of difficult breathing, inflammation of the liver, jaundice, febrile conditions, urinary calculi, inflammation of the lungs, arthritis, and it relieves the temporary symptoms of asthma and allergies.

SPIRULINA — The protein in Spirulina contains all 8 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Spirulina is actually 65% complete protein, making it the world’s highest known source.

WHEATGRASS — Wheatgrass is high in calcium, magnesium and potassium. Studies have shown it to have cleansing, detoxifying and healing effects on your body. Recommended as a way to stimulate metabolism, wheat grass can be helpful in correcting obesity and indigestion.

ASHWAGANDAHA — Ashwagandaha is an adaptogen herb for the mind that promotes clarity. Betterments include: improving mental acuity, learning and memory while also alleviating anxiety and depression.

CORDYCEPS — Cordyceps increase the number of the Natural Killer Cells, which are responsible for the body’s defense against viruses and bacteria. Some trials show that the fungus works effectively in leukemia stricken individuals. Improving sexual function in men and increasing libido by stimulating the production of sex hormones. Providing anti-aging and fatigue reducing effects. The fungus works as an antioxidant and increases cellular formation, especially in the elderly patients. It also promotes more restful sleep, soothes the nervous system, and reduces anxiety. Improving the respiratory function. Benefiting vascular system by improving circulation, regulating blood pressure, and strengthening the heart muscle. Protecting liver and kidneys.

HOLY BASIL LEAF — Holy Basil Leaf may be beneficial for blood sugar reduction and oral care, relief from respiratory disorders, fever, asthma, lung disorders, heart diseases and stress.

SUMA ROOT — Suma Root acts as an adaptogen, helping the body to cope with stress, increasing energy levels and resistance to disease. It is used to treat exhaustion resulting from debilitating viral infections, such as Epstein-Barr disease and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It is a tonic that is helpful to people who are recovering from the flu, as well as anyone else who lacks energy and stamina. The herb promotes healthy energy levels and combats the effects of fatigue and stress. As an anti-inflammatory, Suma is thought to be of help in easing the pain and inflammation of arthritis and other joint discomforts. Effective for the unpleasant symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes and emotional swings. This same quality is believed to alleviate the discomforts of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

SCHISANDRA – Schisandra is used to treat a variety of medical conditions and is widely known as a longevity herb and aphrodisiac. It is used to treat lung and liver disorders, coughs, to relieve fatigue, depression and stress, increase stamina and for insomnia and helps with forgetfulness and night sweats. Helps with circulation and normalizing blood sugar and blood pressure. Normalizes body systems and speeds recovery after surgery. Aids irritable bowel syndrome.

PEA FIBER — Pea Fiber helps to reduce cholesterol and provides one of highest sources of natural dietary fiber. Maybe beneficial to diabetics as a way to stabilize their blood sugar levels, since fiber intake has been shown to control intestinal glucose absorption.. and fiber has been used in the area of weight management. It creates a feeling of fullness and satiety and naturally displaces sugar and fat calories. Fiber may work to reduce the risk for heart disease by lowering blood pressure, improving sugar metabolism, and lowering blood fats besides cholesterol, such as triglycerides.

YACON ROOT — Yacon Root is rich in oligofructose (fructooligosaccharide) also known as FOS. FOS is a dietary sugar that our bodies are unable to metabolize. Since the body is unable to fully digest the sugar it is classified as a nondigestable carbohydrate. Studies show a diet rich in FOS can help with weight management, cardiovascular diseases, prevention and the risk of cancer, and support for the control and prevention of many chronic diseases. Yacon root is shown to help obesity, constipation, insomnia, arthritis, hypertension, kidney disease. Yacon root has also shown some properties to lower the formation of harmful blood clotting and can lower cholesterol levels. This root has been known to help the gut since it also known to be a bit of a colon cleanser, cleaning out the colon section of bad bacterias.

AMYLASE — Amylase is responsible in improving your digestive system quite instantly. You will burn quick carbohydrates and calories as you use it, also are considered as the naturally oriented anti-histamine. It’s the best mineral against many diseases, obesity, ailments such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, asthma, allergies, depression (such as bipolar, obsessive compulsive disorder, hypo manic, panic disorder, etc.). Amylase successfully works in muscle building and improving immune system in order to burn the calories and fight against those chronic diseases.

BROMELAIN FROM PINEAPPLE — Bromelain is basically an enzyme that is able to break down proteins in the body. Also been found to have blood thinning properties, and this means that it is also effective in the prevention and treatment of clots in the blood and plaques in the arteries, which in turn can help to prevent cardiovascular problems. Also helpful in treating aches and pains, numbness and tingling, colds, asthma, hay fever, itching skin and some skin disorders, pains associated with varicose veins, sluggish immune systems, breast pain in mothers who were previously breast feeding.

CELLULASE — Cellulase enzyme is an outstanding antioxidant as it binds to profound metals and other contaminants, and it discharges them from your body. It’s responsible for the digestion of fiber from fruits and vegetables which are successful in binding to excess cholesterol, noxious substance and eliminating them from body for a proper muscle building.

LACTASE — ** IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND! Lactase is a common enzyme that exists in the small intestine of many people. It is essential for digestion of lactose, the naturally occurring sugar in milk. Most individuals of Asian, African, and Native American descent are lactose intolerant. In addition, half of Hispanics and about 20 percent of Caucasians do not produce lactase as adults. Benefits of Lactase –Lactase has been used in connection with the following conditions in lactose intolerant individuals: diarrhea, indigestion, heartburn, and irritable bowel syndrome.

LIPASE — Lipase works on the fat that you eat; it breaks lipids (fats) down so that your body can use it. When your body doesn’t create enough Lipase to break down the fat, undigested fats can cause weight gain, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Additionally, Lipase helps your body better utilize omega fatty acids.

PAPAIN FROM PAPAYA — Papain helps ease digestion and constipation, and soothes the stomach. It dissolves protein and breaks down fats and carbohydrates, promoting a healthy acidic enzyme environment.

PROTEASE — Protease, an elementary enzyme, is responsible for the digestion of proteins Protease is responsible for digesting proteins in your food, which is probably one of the most difficult substances to metabolize. The benefits of protease are considered to be one of the most important enzymes that we have. If the digestive process is incomplete, undigested protein can wind up in your circulatory system, as well as in other parts of your body. Supports the immune and respiratory systems, increases the absorption of nutrients, helps promote joint health and function, supports arterial health, activates macrophages and natural killer cells.

KAMUT GRASS — Coined nature’s most powerful detoxifier, Kamut grass cleanses the blood and detoxifies our cells to restore health and vitality.

OAT GRASS — Oat Grass is a good source of beta-carotene, vitamins K and C, folic acid, B vitamins, protein, fiber and calcium. Helps reduce nervous exhaustion, insomnia, and “weakness of the nerves.” Oat Grass is useful in rheumatic conditions and to relieve water retention. It is s used to treat high triglycerides, anxiety, eczema and nicotine withdrawal.

FLAX SEED — Flax seeds have the potential to lower LDL cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar, lower the risk of breast, prostate, and colon cancers, and reduce the inflammation of arthritis. Flaxseeds’ omega-3 fats are a good source of fiber, aid in digestion and help stabilize. Also, its combination of healthy fat and high fiber content make it great for weight loss! Flax is perhaps the best source of Lignans, which transform in our intestines to substances which may balance female hormones. Lignans may also promote fertility, reduce peri-menopausal symptoms and may even help prevent breast cancer. There is also evidence that lignans may help prevent Type 2 diabetes.

COCOA — Cocoa is rich in flavonoids and antioxidants which can help in flushing out harmful toxins that could cause cell damage, premature aging and a whole host of diseases and illnesses. It is also helpful in elevating the mood because of the phenylethylamine that it has. Cocoa is also a natural source of magnesium (Magnesium is necessary for the manufacture and action of insulin also),which can help in relieving pre-menstrual syndrome, preventing and treating cardiovascular diseases and in lowering blood pressure. Cocoa can also help in reducing the risk for developing type-2 diabetes and can also help in the manufacturing and the action of insulin.

CINNAMON — Cinnamon has extremely high anti-oxidant activity, and the oil of cinnamon has strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Cinnamon is also a great source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium. Reducing blood sugar levels and treating Type 2 Diabetes, lowering cholesterol, aiding digestion, treating diarrhea, curing the common cold, reducing arthritis pain, boosting memory and cognitive function, treating toothaches, eliminating bad breath, curing headaches and migraine pain. It has an anti-clotting effect on the blood. It has been found to be effective in fighting vaginal yeast infections, oral yeast infections, stomach ulcers.

ACAI BERRY — Acai Berries are amongst the healthiest fruits on Earth. They’re packed with antioxidants, healthy omega fats, protein & fiber. They have a fatty acid ratio similar to olive oil which is considered to be a contributing factor to the low incidence of heart disease in Mediterranean populations.