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Lemons – From Weight Loss to Pain Relief

Saying that lemons are a superfood is an understatement. Not only do they add abundant flavor to a variety of dishes, but they also boast a ton of health benefits. The flavonoids within the juice are said to contain antioxidants, which is why lemons are useful in treating so many ailments and conditions.

1. Forget Red Bull, try lemon: Studies have shown that the scent of lemon oil can actually create a greater sense of concentration, while increasing alertness. Awesome! If you are having trouble staying focused on your workout routine, take a whiff. Try using a lemon diffuser in the home (an easy  way to do this is by boiling lemon water on the stovetop) when you are trying to give yourself a push.  

2. Bump up the benefits of water: Let yourself go back to the childhood days when “fitness” wasn’t a chore, it was fun. A little lemonade will bring you back to those days too.  Adding lemons to your water can actually make you feel fuller as well as reduce the development of Type 2 Diabetes.  Lemons contain pectin, a soluble fiber that has been shown to help with weight loss. Also, lemons can literally slow down the absorption of sugar into the body.

3. Clean the slate for wellness: Lemon has been proven to aid in digestion as it keeps bad bacteria at bay.  When our digestive system is working smoothly, we are more likely to feel our best, enabling ourselves to make the best nutritional choices and keep up with our fitness plan.  There are many ways to consume lemon to help in this sense – a great one being combining it with flax seed (1 cup of hot water, 1/4 of a lemon and 1 teaspoon of ground flaxseed).

4. Cough, cough, squeeze, squeeze: Workouts can take a back seat when you are under the weather.  Enter the lemon!  A large lemon contains a whopping 45 mg of Vitamin C which happens to be 75 percent of your daily requirement. So, the next time you’re feeling less than your best, add some fresh lemon juice to your tea.

5. Sore no more: It is believed that lemons have pain-relieving qualities, and thus can be ideal for post workout aches or for ailments suffered by those who sit behind a desk all day or are often cramped in cars and airplanes.  I recommend squeezing three to four lemons and mixing in two to three tablespoons of honey into a small bowl. Honey has long been a side kick to lemon due to its antiseptic properties. Next, microwave the bowl for up to 30 second, or until the mixture is hot. Take a small towel and dip it into the bowl. Apply the towel to the sore area and enjoy its soothing relief.

From Shape Magazine February 2012

5 Myths about Dieting Put to Rest.

There are a lot of tactics and secrets that people swear by when it comes to dieting and nutrition. If you take the time to research the truth behind these “tips” you could be surprised by what you find.

Diet Myth 1:  There are no bad foods, as long as you eat in moderation.

Sure, we are advocates of treating yourself on occasion. However, some foods just have very little nutritional value.  Compare a potato chip to a baked potato and the chip will be seriously lacking.  When you believe there are truly no bad foods and “everything in moderation,” you can open the door to your treat meal turning into your lifestyle.  Further, keeping the bad food around for just that treat meal can end up being your trigger to eat more than you had planned on.  Focus on eating healthy foods and be aware of your trigger foods, and then approach moderation in a sensible manner.

Diet Myth 2:  Only eat when you’re hungry.

As we drive home at boot camp, eat several small meals a day to keep your metabolism burning. Research shows that this is a key to weight-loss success. Further, when you eat healthy food at regular intervals you will be better nourished, think more clearly, and experience fewer mood swings. Skipping meals leads to weight gain as oftentimes you end up eating far greater portions when you do decide to eat. Try keeping track calories in a food journal to see how much food you consume throughout the day.

Diet Myth 3:  It’s more expensive to eat healthy food.

All it takes is a little planning. A study at the Mary Imogene Bassett Research Institute in Cooperstown, N.Y., found that a person who follows a diet of heart healthy whole foods can reduce their grocery bill by up to $8 a week. Granted, not a huge savings, however, that translates to an annual savings of $416 a year for a single person. When grocery shopping, try to swap legumes for meat products; buy less-expensive produce such as apples, oranges, carrots, spinach and cabbage; and purchase healthy whole grains like oatmeal and rice in bulk.

Diet Myth 4: Some diets can destroy cellulite.

Medically speaking, there is no such thing as cellulite. It’s a marketing term that has been applied to fat (found mostly on the thighs), in different degrees in 50 to 90 percent of women, irrespective of clothing size or fitness level. This clumpy fat comes from fat cells stored just under the skin in honeycomb-like structures anchored by bands of connective tissue. The more fat cells forced into each honeycomb, the more puckered the texture.  Since cellulite is just ordinary body fat, there is no unique low carb diet trick or cellulite treatment to remove it. The bottom line? A calorie-controlled diet that consists of whole, healthy foods plus exercise will help you lose fat throughout your body.

Diet Myth 5:  You need fat in your diet to feel full and satisfied.

Fat is the slowest food component to clear the stomach, so for years the assumption was that foods high in fat would slow the digestion process and in turn, keep you feeling full for longer periods of time. Recent research proves the proportion of sugar and fat has little or no difference in satiety ratings. Additionally, fat actually has twice the calories of protein or carbohydrates.

In reality, protein tends to leave people feeling more satisfied than either carbohydrates or fat while fiber and whole grains affect feelings of fullness and satisfaction. To stay full longer, eat healthy foods that are high in fiber, like fruits and veggies and healthy whole grains.

Contributors: http://www.shape.com/print/page/id/2984

7 Cookout and Picnic Diet Killers

PicnicIt’s summertime in WI, which brings the incongruous collision of picnic season, festivals and swimsuit season. The weather’s perfect for hiking, camping, barbecuing, and days at the beach—lots of opportunities for outdoor exercise, but just as many opportunities to pig out at pool parties, outdoor festivals, and county fairs. Here are some foods to try avoiding during the dog days of summer and some ideas for substitutions for picnic favorites.

Fried chicken. It’s not the K or the C in KFC that’s the problem. It’s the F for fried. And if you have any hope of staying slim this summer, it’s time to tell the Colonel you’re kicking the bucket. One extra-crispy breast will run you 460 calories and 28 grams of fat, 8 of them saturated. That’s almost three times the calories of a grilled, skinless breast and almost ten times as much fat. So clearly, you’re better off cooking the chicken yourself. But if you’re grabbing something on the run, you might want to visit the rotisserie case at your local supermarket. Try picking a chicken that’s not slathered in sugary barbecue sauce. And if you throw away the skin, you’ll save yourself from eating most of the fat and calories. We will not even mention the WI State Fair crème puffs.

Sandwiches. A picnic without sandwiches is like a picnic without ants. It just wouldn’t be the same. But of course, the sandwich is only as good as the sum of its ingredients. If you’re using white bread, you’re just eating empty carbohydrates. Make sure you buy whole-grain bread, and that it has the word “whole” in the ingredient list. Wheat bread is essentially the same as white bread, only with a little molasses added for brown coloring. It’s nutritionally the same, if not worse. Whole wheat bread, on the other hand, contains the fiber and the vitamins you’re looking for. For lunch meat, try avoiding processed meats like bologna and salami. They’re packed with extra fat and sodium. And when buying unprocessed meats like turkey or roast beef, make sure they really are unprocessed. The makers of some brands of turkey grind up the skin and dark meat and then press it into lunch meat form, so you’re really getting as much fat and sodium as you’d get from bologna. Watch out for flavored turkey as well. Most of the time the secret ingredient is salt. If you want to be really healthy, buy a whole turkey breast from your poultry section and roast it yourself, so you can control how much salt is added.

Brats and burgers. It’s always great to fire up the grill and start cooking up a mess of meat. And the good news is that grilling is one of the healthiest ways to cook food. It adds tons of flavor and doesn’t add fat. Of course, the best thing to grill would be skinless chicken, fish, or vegetables. But if you’re craving a juicy burger or brat and a portobello burger just won’t do, there are still some decisions you can make to keep it on the lean side. For burgers, consider a leaner option than beef like ground turkey, or buffalo. But as always, check the label. Some grinds of turkey have as much fat as a fatty grind of beef. Ground turkey breast is usually much leaner than ground turkey. If you’re going to make beef burgers, try to find a grind that is under 5 percent fat. Ground sirloin is usually pretty close. If you can’t find a grind that’s low enough in fat, ask your butcher to grind a lean piece of chuck roast or top sirloin for you. In addition to being leaner, this will also reduce your chances of picking up foodborne illnesses like E. coli, since only one cow is involved in producing a steak, as opposed to potentially hundreds in ground beef. In fact, if you’re someone who likes to eat your burger rare, having the butcher grind a piece of meat for you is a must do. Bratwurst is another delicious WI summer fave, but watch the fat and sodium content in those as well. The chicken, turkey, and even veggie versions of sausage sound like they’d be lighter, but they’re often just as fatty as the pork versions.

Potato or macaroni salad. Mayonnaise is the culprit in these dishes. At 50 calories a tablespoon with 5 grams of fat, these side dishes can turn deadly for your diet in a hurry. But you can mitigate the damage somewhat. Instead of mayonnaise, consider using nonfat yogurt, food-processed nonfat cottage cheese, or nonfat ricotta cheese instead. You’ll get fewer calories, less fat, and lessen the risk of salmonella poisoning by going eggless. One way to make potato salad healthier is to leave the skins on the potatoes, as they have the fiber and most of the vitamins in the spud. For macaroni salad, use a whole-grain pasta to get extra fiber. Better yet, make a pasta salad with heart-healthy olive oil, vinegar, and lots of veggies. Click here for a great potato salad recipe.

Baked beans. Beans, beans, the musical fruit…well, you know the rest. Full of fiber and low in fat, beans are a great side dish that will keep you full. What you want to watch out for is the sugar that is added to most baked beans. Sometimes as much three teaspoons in a cup. Try plain pinto beans, or my favorite, beans canned with jalapeños. Replace high-calorie sweet with low-calorie fire, and you won’t even miss the sugar. Three-bean salad is another flavorful way to consume your legumes without a lot of added fat or sugar.

Trail mix. Summer’s a great time for checking out nature, and it’s always great to bring along a healthy snack. But check the trail mix ingredients. Some, especially those containing granola, can be loaded with super-unhealthy hydrogenated oils and fat. There are trail mixes on the market that have more fat than a large order of fries, so it’s definitely a buyer-beware situation. Also check out how much sugar is in the trail mix or granola bars you’re taking backpacking. Some bars aren’t much healthier than a Snickers. If ingredients in your trail mix include chocolate chips and marshmallows, you may not have made the healthiest choice. Try making your own trail mix with healthy unsweetened oats, nuts, and dried fruit. Or take along a couple of P90X® Peak Performance Protein Bars.

Ice cream. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream…or custard. And we’ll really be screaming when we try to stuff ourselves into our swimsuits after eating everyone’s favorite fatty, frosty indulgence. It’s hard to resist a cool ice cream cone on a hot summer day, and the tinkling of the ice cream truck bell can still send me bolting into the street. But that scoop of vanilla can have up to 400 calories and 25 grams of fat, 15 of them saturated. If you’re culinarily gifted, you might consider making your own sorbet. If not, check out some of the ones available on the market. Sorbets are usually low-fat or nonfat, although they can still have tons of sugar. Try to find some that are mostly fruit. Speaking of fruit, for a healthy frozen treat, how about sticking some fruit in the freezer? Most fruits, especially berries, grapes, and bananas, freeze quite well. They’ll last longer and popping a few frozen grapes in your mouth can cool you off on a hot day and you’ll still get all the vitamins, fiber, and health benefits that a Creamsicle just can’t provide.

~ Head Coach Catherine and Milwaukee Adventure Boot Camp

Adapted from Joe Wilkes & http://teambeachbody.com/about/newsletters/-/nli/19#18078

7 Great Ways to Freshen Up Your Water

Thirsty? You should be. If you’re reading this, it probably means you’re working your tush off every day at boot camp. And when you do that, you perspire. And when you perspire, you need to replenish the water in your system.

Sadly, you may be one of those lost souls who can’t stand the taste of water. Sure, you could hydrate with juice or sports drinks, but then you’d be adding a bunch of sugar or artificial sweeteners into the mix. Yes, these drinks can play a role in a healthy diet, but 8 glasses a day of orange juice would be far more vitamin C than you need, as well as hundreds of sugar calories that you shouldn’t be consuming—calories completely unchecked by the fiber you get from eating actual oranges. As any boot camper knows who has attended one of our educational nutrition seminars, you must drink water for optimal health! But water sometimes gets boring, right?

Actually, water really is the way to go, so to help you get the stuff down, we’ve come up with a few simple tips. But before we get started, we’d like to make a preemptive response to all of you who have told me about that widely touted 2002 study in the American Journal of Physiology that discounts the old 8-ounce-glass-of-water, eight-times-a-day rule. According to the study, a normal, healthy adult just needs to drink when he or she is thirsty to stay hydrated.

Well, before you hang up your MABC water bottle, keep in mind that the study includes a huge disclaimer: the light-and-easy hydration rule doesn’t apply to people with medical conditions requiring fluid control, athletes, people living in extreme conditions, and people involved in prolonged physical activity. The way I see it, if you’re doing boot camp, that’s going to put you in at least one of those groups, if not two or three.

In other words, here are seven ways to make water more palatable. Use ’em!

Get fruity. A squish of lemon, lime, or orange goes a long way toward giving water a little zing. It’s almost calorie free, and you get a bonus blast of vitamin C. Furthermore, if you happen to be doing boot camp on the deck of your boat while you’re out on the lake, it can help with any unwanted scurvy.  J

Herbify yourself. Make yourself a big tub of caffeine-free, herbal tea, or “tisane,” as the French call it. Technically, it isn’t made from the Camellia sinensis (aka “tea”) plant, which means it doesn’t have the antioxidants of tea, but it tastes good and has no negative effects. There are hundreds of flavors to choose from. Mint and raspberry are a couple of boot camper favorites.

Bubble up! According to a 2001 study out of the Creighton University Osteoporosis Research Center in Nebraska, the notion that carbonated water leaches calcium from your bones is completely untrue. So, if you want to hydrate with a big glass of Perrier, go for it.

Minty fresh. Crushed mint is another great way to liven up your water. If you want to get the most out of the leaves, put them in the glass first and grind them down. This will release a ton of flavor. Mint is also known to soothe upset stomachs and, more importantly, freshen your breath. Mix the mint with the lemon for a real taste sensation!

Filter flavor. It’s a subtle shift, but sometimes the filtration process can alter the taste of tap water. Get yourself a Brita filter or similar brand and give it a go. Even if the flavor doesn’t change, you’ll be drinking purer stuff.

Brush your teeth. A good scrub of your teeth and tongue overpowers the taste of almost everything you put in your mouth for several minutes afterward. Take this opportunity to knock back a glass of H2O. You won’t taste a thing.

Cuke you. This one is a little wacky, but if you like new tastes, give it a shot. Chop up a cucumber (yes, a cucumber). Add it to a pitcher of water and chill it for 2 to 3 hours so that the cucumber flavor can permeate. Serve the water with ice. It’s the perfect refreshing drink for a hot, summer day.

Good luck and drink your water!

Adapted from By Denis Faye http://teambeachbody.com/about/newsletters/-/nli/111#19455

Advocare Spark: Camper Testimonials Speak Loud & Clear!

For those of you have attended our nutrition seminars, you understand how important supplementation is to your overall health and wellness.

AdvoCare is a premier health and wellness company offering world-class energy, weight-loss, nutrition, and sports performance products. We decided in late 2009 to offer these products to our clients and campers because distinguished professionals from the fields of nutrition, pharmacology, biology, kinesiology and medicine formulate nutritional solutions that are based on solid science and created with the highest-quality ingredients.

The AdvoCare track record is one of success because they remain focused on what they do best: offering safe and effective nutritional products and providing a compelling business opportunity. We know you are going to buy products campers. AdvoCare has proven science-based products, celebrity non-paid endorsers who recommend AND use their products.

It is easy for us to tout the benefits of these supplements; why not hear it from your fellow campers…

Leah G.
I wanted to send you my testimonial for Spark since after using it for just 2 days, I’m a 100% believer! Between Skinny Jeans classes and half marathon training my body was getting extremely tired and it was becoming hard to motivate myself to run in the mornings.  I tried Spark for the first time before a five mile run and the results were amazing.  I had so much energy that I felt like I could run faster and longer.  In fact, I cut off three minutes from my five mile run that first day without even realizing it.  The best part was that my energy level stayed up all day.

Elaine H.
I have used the Spark, Meal Replacement shakes, and the Vitamin packs from Advocare.  The Spark is really good for me because it tends to give me energy that is critical for me.  I always drink mine around 1:30/2 p.m. so I it never interfered with my sleeping.  The first eight weeks, I really drank it a lot because I was adjusting my eating habits and found I needed something to help me control my desire to eat more. I love the meal replacement shakes too.  My favorite is chocolate, next is vanilla, and then berry.  It is very filling and tends to keep me more satisfied longer than a protein shake.  I like the thickness because it reminds me of a chocolate shake especially when I use cold, cold water.  The vitamin packs were good also.

Carol R.
I was never one to take any type of energy or sports performance product before, during or after a sporting event.  However, that has changed recently.  Early spring 2010 I was introduced to Advocare products.  It was not until my triathlon in June 2010 that I used SPARK and finally realized that the advocare products did make a difference in my performance.  I’ve been competing in triathlons for the past 14 years and always felt extremely fatigued after a race. This year, after drinking Spark for my first triathlon of the season, I experienced a higher energy level and my body did not feel as fatigued.  I took 1st place at the triathlon for my age group and that would not have possible without SPARK.

Can you benefit from supplements? Let us know if we can help suggest something that may take your training to a higher level of success! Click for more information.

Recipe: Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

This recipe pairs sweet potatoes with flank steak and Chimichurri sauce. If you are not familiar with Chimichurri sauce, it is a green sauce made from finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, red wine vinegar, and cilantro. It is the perfect marinade or sauce for flank steak.

Makes: 4 servings…Prep time: 10 minutes…Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6-9 medium sweet potatoes (about 3 pounds), cut into long 1-inch-wide wedges
  • 4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, 1 crushed and 2 roughly chopped
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 pounds flank steak

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Toss sweet potato wedges with 1 tablespoon olive oil, crushed garlic clove, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and place in a shallow roasting pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
  2. Mix garlic, cilantro, parsley, 3 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, 2 tablespoons water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor. Blend until almost smooth.
  3. Rub flank steak with remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place in a broil pan and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium rare. Let sit for 10 minutes. Thinly slice and place 2 to 3 strips on each plate and top with 2 tablespoons sauce. Serve with sweet potatoes.

Nutrition facts per serving: 499 calories, 29g protein, 48g carbohydrate, 21g fat (4.9g saturated), 8g fiber

6 Healthy Foods that Are Easy on Your Wallet

These days it seems as if we’re all trying to stretch our dollars, either by necessity or because we’re becoming savvier about saving more and spending less. If you’ve been looking for ways to stretch your grocery budget without resorting to filling up on cheap, empty calories, read on.

It’s a myth that the healthiest foods are the most expensive. I mean really, how many time have your heard, “healthy food is too expensive?”

With a list and a plan, it IS possible, and surprisingly simple, to eat healthily without blowing your budget or sacrificing those hard-earned boot camp results. If you want to keep your wallet fat and your waistline trim, try to put more of these food items in your shopping cart the next time you’re at the grocery store.

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