health


But if We Can’t Eat Red Meat, What Will Become of the Paleo Diet?

There was BIG NEWS Monday about the IARC and World Health Organization’s report about red and processed meat causing cancer. It wasn’t the most shocking news, as we’ve be warned for years that eating red and processed meat could lead to future health issues. In other words, uh-duh!

Still, seeing the bold headlines was a little upsetting, especially since I had bacon with my Sunday brunch.

But meat lovers, don’t despair! While a simple glance at a headline may initially convince you that your next BLT is going to give you cancer, a little further reading clears up the finer points of this study. True, these types of studies are meant to tell us if something causes cancer, but they don’t describe how potent they are as cancer causing agentsHere’s a handy info graphic to give you some perspective on cause vs. risk.

151026-Tobacco-vs-Meat-TWITTER

 So yes, a steady diet of red meat and sausage will probably damage your health, however you can still enjoy these foods in moderate amounts and be fine.  For more information, this article from Cancer Research UK explains it further. 

So, what will become of the Paleo diet if we can’t eat bacon and grass-fed beef with abandon?  The modern cavemen are already firing back. One of their arguments is that the WHO didn’t test grass-fed beef vs. “MacDonald’s beef”. Unfortunately for them, the evidence shows that it’s the naturally occurring chemicals in meat and how our bodies process them that increase the risk of cancer. This is not to say that the quality of our protein doesn’t matter. It’s in relation to this bowel cancer study that the grass-fed beef vs. corn-fed beef difference is irrelevant.

What do you think of the WHO findings? Will this change how you eat at all? Or are you in the “Oh, well, everything causes cancer” camp?

Let me know on Facebook @blitzyourbody!

 

Green is the New Black: New Smoothie Recipe!

Yesterday,  I  joined more than 20,000 people in running the NYC Half Marathon. It was thrilling to run down the city streets–particularly Broadway,right through Times Square.

photo (7)

This was the first race in a long time where I had no problems with swelling in my ankle. I’m still utilizing Jeff Galloway’s run/walk/run program, but had to rely on it for only a quarter of the race. If you don’t already know, Mr. Galloway is an amazing running coach whose program got me running again pain free. Read more about him here: http://www.jeffgalloway.com/  or my original JG love letter: http://blitzyourbody.com/2013/11/marathon-envy/

Afterwards. we celebrated with pasta, green mimosas and a little dancing, which, by the way, is absolutely the wrong way to recover after a race. I should have skipped the mimosas and and instead had plenty of water and stretched my overworked muscles.

Celebrating my 7th and Ana's 1st half!

Celebrating my 7th and Ana’s 1st half!

But today is  a new day! And while I didn’t aid my body with proper recovery yesterday, I can still give my muscles what they need with my favorite protein shake for breakfast. Since it’s St. Patrick’s day, I made sure to add plenty of spinach to give it a gorgeous green color. Don’t worry, adding spinach only boosts the nutritional content of this shake, as spinach is rich in muscle building iron, and bone strengthening calcium. It does not taste like spinach, trust me.

photo (10)

St. Paddy’s Day Recovery Shake

260 cal/5.5 grams fat/27 grams protein

Serves 1

1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 scoop of vanilla protein powder  (I still like Designer Whey the best!)

1/2 frozen or fresh banana

1/4 cup lowfat Greek yogurt

1 splash vanilla extract

1 tsp honey or whatever sweetener you prefer

1 cup baby spinach

2-3 ice cubes

Blend and enjoy!

Dear Diary…Why You Should Keep a Food Journal

photo (1)

The 30 Day Food Journal Challenge I started in January is finally over! For the past month, my clients, friends, and I kept a detailed log of our daily exercise and food intake, using the My Fitness Pal app. So did my challenge work? Is keeping a food journal really worth the effort?

Here are some tips I learned:

Honesty is the Best Policy

A food journal can give you insight into your daily calorie intake and can help you determine areas where your diet can be cleaned up. But you must be thorough. It’s best to log right after you’ve eaten so you don’t forget. This includes the handful of potato chips you had, and that half of a chocolate chip cookie I snacked on (couldn’t help it, it had walnuts). Over a period of time, omitting little bites like those can mean the difference between reaching your goal or coming up short.

Be Consistent

Keeping a food log can work, but only if done with consistency. I recommend setting a specific time goal for journaling. Whether it is an entire month or even just a week, make a commitment to log every day for that time. Out of the 22 who signed up for the 30 Day Food Journal Challenge, about half didn’t keep up with their log, and dropped out after the first week. Everyone who recorded for the full 30 days experienced various degrees of success–from better fitting clothes, to a ten pound drop in weight. 

Underestimate Your Exercise Expenditure and Overestimate Your Calories

The My Fitness Pal app, as well as the cardio machines at the gym, grossly overestimate the calories you burn while you workout. My suggestion is to under report the amount of time you worked out to get a number that could be close to accurate. As for calories consumed, if you measure your portions, you don’t need to adjust for accuracy. However when dining out, it’s always best to over estimate. Last night I searched “pizza” on My Fitness Pal and many of the entries were under 300 calories a slice, which seems highly unlikely. Especially in New York, where a slice of pizza looks like this:

nyny_pizza1.sized

If your pizza fits on a plate, you’re not in New York

Review Your Previous Entries

You can’t learn about your food habits and triggers, if you don’t take the time to look at previous entries. Did you have a bad day at work on a high calories day? Are you too busy too eat a sufficient amount of food when the baby is awake? Reflection can be key to helping you make healthy changes that can last a lifetime.

Yes! Journaling Does Work!

Finally, some people would be above printing a letter of praise from a happy food journaler. I, however, am not one of those people! Read Shannon’s letter below to see  how keeping a food journal helped her break through a plateau:

Hi Amy- I just wanted to thank you for starting the 30 day food journal challenge . It was just the change I needed to shed a few more pounds, which I’d been trying to drop for months. I was basically stuck at the same weight and just figured that was it for me…but then I started journaling and bam, 5 lbs in 30. days!!! It’s incredible the difference those 5 lbs have made I am beyond ecstatic at how I look and how much more defined my muscles look now. I truly appreciate and just love people like you who start these sorts of things and are always looking to help those around them. You are a great inspiration!! Thank you thank you thank you!!! Xoxoxo

Oh and I plan to continue journaling, I’m addicted –Shannon

Thanks Shannon! Glad to hear that you love how you look and, more importantly, how you feel!

My Gift To You: A Workout…and an Eggnog Protein Shake!

weight gift

This month DO NOT Blitz Your Body. Instead…Blitzen Your Body!  To honor my favorite reindeer, I have created a quick and easy-to-remember circuit, that will get you in and out of the gym in 30 minutes. You’ll burn calories, boost strength and endurance, plus get your endorphins flowing right in time for the holiday. And then, once the New Year comes around, you will already be ahead of the workout game.

Oh, and as an added bonus, I have included a special EGGNOG PROTEIN SMOOTHIE recipe at the end. Try it after your workout to aid in muscle recovery.

5 minute warm up

1/4 mile treadmill run at moderate pace – Don’t like running? That’s fine. Substitute any treadmill running portion of this workout with a treadmill hill walk, 5 minutes of stairmaster, or 1 minute of jumping jacks combined with 1 minute of mountain climbers and another 30 seconds of jumping jacks. This is the cardio portion, so just get your heart rate up for at least 2.5 minutes.

15-20 push ups: Works chest, triceps, back and core muscles.

15 side lunges (per leg) Works glutes and thighs

15-20 of any type of row. I love TRX rows, but you can also do a bent over dumbbell row. Works the muscles of the middle back and biceps. 

Plank for 30-90 seconds. Works the core stabilizing muscles and shoulders.

50 bicycle crunches. Works the obliques and abdominals

10-20 Forward lunges with a bicep curl AND an overhead press. This is the move that will get your heart pumping again after the core work. Grab a set of light to moderate weights. With the dumbbells in both hands, step forward into a lunge. With your back knee hovering above the ground, do a biceps curl, ensuring that you keep your elbows close to your torso. Flip your grip so that palms face forward and perform an overhead press. If you are a beginner  then just perform the curl. Lower your arms and step your back leg forward. Repeat on the other side. Works legs, glutes, biceps, shoulders, triceps and core muscles.

Rest for 1 minute or more if necessary. Go back to the treadmill or the cardio of your choice. Try to increase the intensity of the cardio portion by either going a bit faster or increasing the incline/resistance. Repeat weight circuit.

Do this circuit 2-3 times. If you have extra time at the gym, add some small muscle group exercises like triceps extensions and lat shoulder raises at the end.

And now for the NOG!

Blitzen’s Eggnog Protein Smoothie

1/2 cup Silk Nog (this will provide the eggnog taste without the egg nog fat and calories)

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 TB chia seeds (optional)

1 scoop Designer Whey Vanilla Protein powder

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 banana (frozen is best, but if you only have a fresh one, add more ice)

1 dash ground cloves

1 dash ground nutmeg

1 dag ground cinnamon

2 ice cubes

Combine Soy Nog and almond milk in your blender. Add chia seeds. Allowing the chia seeds to soak in this liquid for a few minutes will make your smoothie extra thick. Add the rest of your ingredients and blend, adding a bit more almond milk if it becomes too thick for your taste. If you need more sweetness you can add a bit of honey or liquid stevia, just adjust calories accordingly. I like it as is.

Serve over ice.

Serves 1. With chia seeds: 300 calories. 7 grams fat. 11 grams fiber. 7 grams sugar.

Sober September, It’s Happening

No AlcoholSeptember is here.  People go back to work, kids go back to school and everyone gets the almost New Years-type feeling that now is the time to get serious about health and weight loss.

Sober September is a month long “detox” I am encouraging my clients to do to get them back on track after a summer of vacations, traveling and BBQ’s. It’s simple: abstain from alcohol and eat only healthy foods for the entire month of September. That’s it. Well, actually there are a few rules of Sober September. Follow them, and you will be looking and feeling your best by October 1st.

Rule #1 Talk about Sober September. You must tell the people close to you that you are doing this. Otherwise, who will hold you accountable when you are faced with a drink or a cheeseburger?

Rule #2 Measure yourself on day one of SS, which is actually Tuesday, Sept 3rd, or at the very least, within the first week of September. Take a waist and hip measurement, and weigh yourself if you have a scale. Repeat on Sept 30th. You can also go by how your clothes feel, but I like to be exact about these things.

Rule #3 No cheating. Under normal circumstances, I do recommend a moderate cheat day once a week. But this is Sober September! So for the next four weeks you must eat clean and abstain for the whole month. If you do cheat, you MUST own up to it. My clients know that they have to admit to any indiscretions. Accountability is key!

I will however, permit wine on the Jewish Holidays. My people have got to have their wine for the New Year!

Rule #4 Exercise. Make it a point to do at least two, 30 minute sessions a week of any weight bearing exercise and 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity, like brisk walking. If you like vigorous activities like running or spinning, then you only need 75 minutes. These are CDC recommendations. You can read more about them here:  http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/adults.html

Going to give Sober September a try? I want to know about! Please leave a comment below or email me at amy.blitz@gmail.com to opt in. I will check on you throughout the month.

 

%d bloggers like this: