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Taking It Easy on Exercise?

Taking It Easy on Exercise?

Many of you have been hitting the gym day in and day out for the past few months, and you still are not happy with the way you look.  And the rest of you might say you are eating healthy, but you don’t have time to work out.  The result? Your jeans are getting snug.

To put it in perspective, one’s resting metabolic rate (RMR) accounts for 70% of your total energy expenditure (TEE) for the day.  The thermic effect of food (TEF) is the energy used to process & digest food, and accounts for 6-10% of your TEE.  The other 20% of your TEE depends on your physical activity level.  So, 20% of your weight is dependent on the exercise you put in, and the other 70-80% is dependent mostly on your diet, and somewhat on genetics, medication, age, and/or other factors.

 

Before you find yourself in the fitting room trying on a bigger pant size, make a new commitment.  Work on BOTH your nutrition and exercise.  Even a little bit of gradual change per week can make huge changes in your body fat composition. You could be exercising to your best ability, but eating back your calories.  Or you could be eating a totally healthy diet, but your metabolism isn’t working hard enough to burn fat because you are sedentary.

Losing weight is NOT easy.  Staying fit is NOT easy.  But taking it easy on exercise is not easy either.  You’ll constantly be disappointed in your health if you don’t act now. It is important for my Personal Training clients to eat properly during an exercise program. And I stress to my Nutrition clients that they need to stay on top of their workouts.   It is a two-way street and you can’t accomplish much unless you focus on both.

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Why Do I Have Sugar Cravings?

Why Do I Have Sugar Cravings?

Getting to the Bottom of This Common Craving

Find out if you have the hidden condition that causes sugar cravings and endless health problems. Get answers to your question “Why do I have sugar cravings?”

The health issue I am going to talk about today is the leading cause of sugar cravings.  Here is a list of symptoms that you may have this condition:

·         Nail fungus or athlete’s foot
·         Craving alcohol or sugar
·         Bloating, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, gas, leaky gut, or other digestive issues
·         Having an autoimmune disease
·         Having symptoms of ADHD/ADD
·         brain fog upon waking up
·         poor memory
·         irritability, mood swings, anxiety, depression
·         sebborheic dermatitis, eczema,
·         vaginal or prostate infections; itching
·         severe skin allergies to fabrics, seasonal allergies
·         hormone imbalances
·         thrush

If any of those symptoms apply to you, then you might be suffering from Candida Yeast Overgrowth! Candida Albicans is a naturally occurring yeast in the human body for both men and women.  You may recognize this as a female problem, but yeast infections are only one of the many attributes of Candida Yeast Overgrowth.  It’s a good idea to try a candida elimination diet if you have symptoms. Here are some risk factors that can lead to this nasty condition:

·         being treated with antibiotics on multiple occasions, or long-term use of antibiotics
·         consuming dairy products or meats that were from animals treated with antibiotics
·         eating a high-sugar diet or highly processed carbohydrates
·         having a high stress lifestyle
·         taking oral contraceptives
·         binge drinking or regular alcohol consumption
·         being exposed to molds or chemicals
·         consuming toxic metals like Mercury, food chemicals like MSG, or tap water.

Dieting for Candida isn’t something that people typically talk about, and is not something that medical doctors typically will test for either.  It might be something for you to bring up to your doctor and ask for testing.  Before you follow through with testing, there is a questionnaire you can take to see how likely it is that you do in fact have Candida Albicans.

Most of the information you find online about candida elimination base their foods around meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and even supplements not suitable for vegans or vegetarians.  Unfortunately, vegans are given the least flexibility with Candida Elimination diets because we don’t eat animal products and most of us base our meals around starches or fruits, which can give yeast an environment to thrive. So, I’ve decided to put some time into sharing my experience with candida elimination on a plant-based diet.  I’ve broken the diet into a few phases.

First, kill off as much candida as possible within the first week on the diet.  The initial phase of this diet is a Candida Cleanse.  It includes meals based upon whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables, legumes, and low-sugar fruit.  The first week can feel terrible, as there are Candida die-off symptoms (known as the Herxheimer reaction).  As miserable as it may feel in the beginning, the more symptoms you experience, the more likely you are actually making progress with eliminating candida.  Here is a list of Herxheimer Reaction symptoms:

·         Nausea or vomiting
·         Headache, fatigue, dizziness,
·         Swollen glands
·         Increased joint or muscle pain
·         Elevated heart rate (tachycardia)
·         irregular heart beats (heart palpitations)
·         sweating, fever, or chills
·         sinus infections
·         hypotension
·         anxiety

Surprisingly, a major sign of die-off is worsening symptoms of your typical candida overgrowth:

  • stronger sugar cravings
  • skin rashes or lesions
  • digestive issues
  • vaginal or prostate infections

It can be tricky to tell whether or not you are making progress or getting worse, because everyone has different symptoms.  The good news is, I can help!  Contact me for Nutrition Coaching or stay updated with my next blog which will include the candida elimination cleanse, recipes for fighting candida, and more information on how to combat Candida Albicans while maintaining a plant-based diet for optimal health.

Written by Kelly Gibson on 1/1/2015

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Certified Nutrition Coach & NASM Personal Trainer

Personal Trainer in Phoenix Arizona | Fitness Boot Camps in Tempe Arizona

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Homemade Almond Milk and Almond Crackers

almond meal crackers

Finally, A Two-In-One Recipe for Homemade Almond Milk with no wasted leftovers! No second guessing.

Homemade Almond Milk Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw almonds, soaked for 8 hours
  • 3 1/2 cups water, filtered
  • 4 raw dates, pitted
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract + 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of salt
ninja and nut bag
You’ll need a nut bag and food processor, something like this.

Instructions: After preparing the above ingredients, all you need to do is mix the ingredients on high-speed for at least 1 minute in a food processor until smoothe. (Then, convert to a blender if you want to extract more homemade almond milk.) Use a nut bag to strain your homemade almond milk mixture into a medium sized bowl, as pictured below.

homemade almond milk
Homemade Almond Milk, strained into a bowl. It smells and tastes wonderful!

 

Squeeze any remaining liquid from the nut bag until most of the milk is strained into the bowl.  Pour milk from the bowl, into a sealed tight bottle (like below) and store in the refrigerater for up to 5 days.

homemade almond milk bottle
Here is what this mixture looks like in a gallon jug. All you need is a a 32oz bottle! If you want more homemade almond milk, double or triple this recipe.

Once you store your homemade almond milk in the fridge, immediately move onto the following recipe.

Use your Remaining Almond Meal for these Delicious Crackers!

almond meal crackers
The most delicious cracker recipe in the entire southwest 😉

Sweet and Salty Almond Cracker Recipe:

  • Leftover Almond Meal from the above Homemade Almond Milk recipe
  • 1-1/2 T Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp basil (for basil lovers like myself 😉 )
  • 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp sage
  • 1/4 tsp thyme

Instructions: It doesn’t get any easier than this!  Preheat your oven the 375, then mix all of the ingredients together with a spatula. Place parchment paper onto a baking sheet, and use the spatula to flatten out your cracker mix into a 1/4″ thick paste across the sheet (careful to keep the corners and edges 1/4″ thick as well). Form the paste into a nicely shaped rectangle.   Once you complete this, carefully use a sharp knife to press down into the paste to create square crackers!  (If you slide the knife too quickly, the almond meal may crumble!) Now they are ready to be baked for 8-10 minutes.  Keep an eye on it to make sure to pull out the dough once the edges start to brown.

homemade almond meal crackers
sweet and salty almond meal, sliced into square crackers onto a baking sheet

There you have it! A homemade almond milk recipe with no leftover waste! Complete with sweet and salty almond crackers for the win! And trust me they’re so good you won’t want to leave any behind 😉

almond meal crackers
After your first bite, you will be thinking about your next batch!
almond meal cracker crumbs
The Crumbs are All that is Leftover From this Recipe!

There’s no better way to make Homemade Almond Milk and Almond Meal Crackers 🙂

Created by Kelly Gibson from Kelly Athletics LLC.

Contact Me for More Dairy-Free Recipes or Info about Plant-Based Nutrition Coaching:

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Kelly is a Vegan Personal Trainer and Plant-Based Nutrition Coach, with over 4 years of experience creating plant-based recipes.

These recipes are inspired by:

    1. YumUniverse
    2. OhSheGlows

 

 

 

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Benefits of Foam Rolling

The Science Behind and Benefits of Foam Rolling

Foam rolling with Self-Myofascial Release (SMR) is a technique used to inhibit overactive muscles and relieve tension in tight or sore muscles. SMR enhances flexibility, improves muscle tissue response, and reduces muscle soreness. It is difficult to know which muscles are overactive if you aren’t familiar with typical Human Movement Impairments, such as Upper Crossed Syndrome where one’s neck protrudes forward during push-ups or Pronation Distortion Syndrom where ones knees cave in and toes point out during squats.  If you want to find out if you have a movement dysfunction, talk to a Corrective Exercise Specialist and get assessed.  Untreated human movement impairments can lead to sore muscles/tissue trauma, inflammation, muscle spasms and knots, altered neuromuscular control, muscle imbalance, and eventually – injury.

So how does SMR work?  It stimulates the Golgi Tendon Organ (GTO) receptors through sustained pressure.  You roll along your overactive muscle until you feel that there is a knot or even a bit of pain. This is the poitn where you will hold the foam roller in place until you feel relief, for 30 seconds up to 2 minutes depending on the severity of your muscle tightness. There are varying levels of intensity you can choose based on the amount of pain you may feel when you foam roll. The more weight you put on the foam roller, the more intense it will feel. The first few times may hurt, but once you keep practicing and repeatedly work on the same muscles, it eventually feels good. My favorite benefits of foam rolling is that it can have similar effects to getting a massage. Not only do you save $65 on a massage but you can do it yourself and get all the knots out in a few short minutes.

foam-rolling-peroneal-muscles-side-plank
Foam Rolling the Peroneal Muscles in a Side Plank Position

When foam rolling in addition to stretching, you can significantly increase your range of motion and flexibility.  I encourage you to get started today by getting assessed, learning your corrective exercises, and practice, practice, practice!  It can take about 5 foam rolling sessions to start feeling relief and up to 4 weeks to start seeing improvements in your movement dysfunction.  It is best to foam roll your overactive muscles with SMR as a preventative strategy before and after each workout, before injury becomes an issue.  Once you complete an assessment with your Personal Trainer, you should be given a list of exercises that can help you reduce risk of injury and correct your muscle imbalances. You should start foam rolling at the beginning of your workout program.

Contact Kelly Gibson to learn exercises for Self-Myofascial Release.

Do you have a foam roller and want to start using it? Try my Stretching Plans with photos that include foam rolling techniques.

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Get Fit For The Holidays

Get Fit For The Holidays!

Making Better Choices to Get Fit for our Health

The first step to eating better is shopping smarter. It starts from the grocery store to your kitchen. Take a look at what you have in your kitchen and re-evaluate your grocery habits. Foods that are easily accessible are the foods you will most likely eat, so get rid of the junk food now and start filling your cabinets with food you know is good for your body. Below are some tips for making small adjustments that will help you get fit and lose weight.

1. Always make a shopping list. If you don’t plan what to eat, you plan to cheat! The extra effort it takes to plan ahead is well worth your time. Take a few minutes once a week to find healthy recipes that you want to make, and write down the ingredients that you need to buy. Don’t forget to include on-the-go snacks such as nutrition bars and trail mix, plus healthy recipes that are quick to prepare. This will prevent you from going to fast-food restaurants for a quick fix. Instead, save yourself the calories. 2. Look at the ingredients. If you are unsure what an ingredient is, don’t buy it. A lot of the long-winded words in processed foods are chemicals, preservatives, or genetically modified ingredients. Examples include hydrogenated oils, sodium benzoate, and maltodextrin. If your body does not recognize a substance in the body, your immune system will treat it like a toxin and try to fight it off. These added stresses on the body may negatively affect your metabolism, which may lead to weight gain. 3. If you really are craving sweets, eat a piece of fruit. Chances are, your craving will be satisfied. However, if you still can’t get over your craving then limit yourself to an individually packaged item that is one serving size. Don’t buy the whole cake, a dozen cookies, or a liter of soda. It is not worth the discount on bulk items if they will cause you to gain weight. Having these items sitting around in your house will tempt you to consume it! 4. Limit attending events based around eating food. Most events like birthday parties, potlucks, and banquets have an abundance of desserts, burgers, pizza, and/or soda. Those are all the foods you should be avoiding in order to lose weight. If you do attend events, however, bring a healthy dish or eat a meal right before leaving your house. That way, you will not be hungry and are less likely to indulge in junk food.

Tis the season to be slimming! Don’t use the holidays as an excuse to eat junk. You can still mingle with family and friends without making poor eating decisions. When the holidays roll around, try new healthy recipes and change up the tradition a little. The choices you make will influence those around you – give the gift of positive change this season! Eating healthy doesn’t mean giving up your favorite foods, but changing how you prepare them to get fit. Happy Holidays!

Contact Me for More Info on How to Get Fit:

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Kelly Gibson has certifications from NASM, Precision Nutrition, eCornell, over 3 years experience as a Coach and Trainer, a lifelong athlete, and has earned a Biological Engineering degree from Penn State University.  If you need to calculate your calories, macros, and other weight loss goals, Kelly is your go-to trainer for Plant-Based Nutrition.