Workout of the week: Press & Curl
So far we have worked our core and booty. Hopefully you felt the burn with last weeks workout! This week we are moving on to shoulders and arms. This move gets both areas, and also gives you those sexy cuts or dips in the arms that we are all after as the weather warms up and we pull our tanks and bikinis out of the closet! When doing this exercise remember to choose a weight that is manageable until the last 3-5 moves. You want to be able to control the weight in a slow, fluid movement the whole way up. You shouldn't be "throwing" the weight in the air. I typically use an 8 pound weight because the first 8 are pretty easy, but then I start to feel that burn the last four or so. You will 3 sets of 12-15 of these!
Nutrition 101: Real Sugar vs. Fake Sugar
First, I want to know how everyone did on drinking their water this week? I hope you all committed to changing something where water is concerned! If you did, I am POSITIVE you saw a difference! I have a poll running right now, and one thing you all are desperate to know is the easiest way to shed weight with diet, and honestly choosing water is a really big key. We already talked about wheat bread vs enriched flour/sugar which is another piece of the puzzle. A third way to shed weight with your diet is to simply choose items with natural sugars opposed to artificial sweeteners.
I honestly don't even know where to start when talking about "fake" sugars or sugar alternatives. Obviously, natural sugars cause us to gain weight when eaten in excess but fake sugars are just as bad if not worse. Let's take aspartame for example-- I know a lot of us, including me used to reach for a DIET coke because it didn't pack the calories and sugar of a regular coke. Rumors of the dangers of aspartame have floated around for years, but to date there are actual clinical and University studies proving the dangerous effects of this faux sweetener.
"Aspartame, the main ingredient in Equal and NutraSweet, is responsible for the most serious cases of poisoning, because the body actually digests it. Aspartame should be avoided by most women, but particularly in those with neuropsychiatric concerns. Recent studies in Europe show that aspartame use can result in an accumulation of formaldehyde in the brain, which can damage your central nervous system and immune system and cause genetic trauma. The FDA admits this is true, but claims the amount is low enough in most that it shouldn’t raise concern. I think any amount of formaldehyde in your brain is too much. Aspartame has had the most complaints of any food additive available to the public. It’s been linked with MS, lupus, fibromyalgia and other central nervous disorders. Possible side effects of aspartame include headaches, migraines, panic attacks, dizziness, irritability, nausea, intestinal discomfort, skin rash, and nervousness. Some researchers have linked aspartame with depression and manic episodes. It may also contribute to male infertility." -womentowomen.com
Women to Women also explains saccharin and the dangers there better than I ever could---
"Saccharin, the first widely available chemical sweetener, is hardly mentioned any more. Better-tasting NutraSweet took its place in almost every diet soda, but saccharin is still an ingredient in some prepared foods, gum, and over-the-counter medicines. Remember those carcinogen warnings on the side of products that contained saccharin? They no longer appear because industry testing showed that saccharin only caused bladder cancer in rats. Most researchers agree that in sufficient doses, saccharin is carcinogenic in humans. The question is, how do you know how much artificial sweeteners your individual body can tolerate? That being said, some practitioners think saccharin in moderation is the best choice if you must have an artificially sweetened beverage or food product. It’s been around a relatively long time and seems to cause fewer problems than aspartame. I don’t argue with this recommendation, but I encourage you to find out as much as you can about any chemical before you ingest it. Artificial sweeteners are body toxins. They are never a good idea for pregnant women, children or teenagers — despite the reduced sugar content — because of possible irreversible cell damage. If you decide it’s worth the risks, then go ahead, but pay attention to your body and your cravings. Once you start tracking your response to artificial sweeteners, it may surprise you." womentowomen.com
At then end of the day, choosing NATURAL sugars are much better for you. If you have a sweet tooth and just have to have something, try honey or agave nectar. In our home, we have replaced maple syrup with agave nectar and honestly it tastes even better to me. If I need something sweet in my tea or on a fiber-heavy cereal I drizzle a small amount of local honey or agave on it. Check your yogurts, cereals and basically anything for artificial sweeteners. Diet Green Tea is a great option if you need a beverage with a "taste" but want to go all natural. Choose fruits with natural sugars and ride out your cravings. For years studies have shown any "craving" or "addiction" can be overcome with thirty days of removing said "addiction". Any of us can give up something for thirty days! If you are someone who indulges in low-sugar options I implore you to read the labels and when all else fails choose something that comes straight out of the ground. half the battle here is becoming aware of what exactly you are putting in your body and the TODAY show reported that people who read labels at the supermarket are 20% healthier/skinnier! Making small changes like these will ensure you are in optimal bikini-worthy shape in no time! And as always, everything in moderation! Try to make wise choices and home but don't be afraid to indulge and have fun when you go out for a meal or go out with friends!
Recipe: Kale Summer Salad
1 large bunch of kale
1/2 pound small red skinned potatoes, quartered
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups mixed salad greens
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup parmesan cheese *optional
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1. preheat oven to 450 degrees. toss potatoes with 1/2 tbsp olive oil and place on a rimmed baking sheet, spread in a single layer and roast 5 minutes. Toss kale in a bowl with garlic, 1/2 tbsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper to taste. Add kale to baking sheet with potatoes and toss. Roast until kale is crisp, about 15 to 20 minutes. 2. Toss kale, potatoes, greens, tomatoes, parmesan and lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. ENJOY!
Ruffles With Love Giveaway!
This week I am rockin' an amazing "beastmode" tank with a super cute braided back with a pink bow. When I wear this tank I have to put in a good workout! It really helps to wear cute workout clothing, at least for me it is very motivating! This week, one lucky winner can win a tank of their choice from the Ruffles With Love etsy shop! Here I am in my tank: