Taking Your Fitness To The Next Level

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Those new to fitness and those who have experience can have many wonderful resources in the universe of weight loss to choose from. You have a great number of diets, guides, brochures and courses to select from. This guide can help you become healthier by helping you learn how to lose weight safely. It is highly suggested that you review the following advice carefully and consult your physician before beginning any sort of new fitness plan I might add.When eating while staring at the television, you can wind up taking in a larger number of calories than anticipated. Distractions in general, including driving or texting while eating have also been shown to increase caloric intake. Alternatively, you should have your meals be placed on a kitchen table, regardless of if you are eating alone or not. Developing good eating habits can be a big benefit when beginning a diet.

As you may already know I’m a huge advocate of eating healthy to reach fitness and nutritional goals, but I also understand that not everyone wants nor needs to be vegan and or gluten free to lead healthier lives. So this will be less about any of that and more about some tips and strategies that can help you reach your fitness goals. Considering nutrition is the biggest component of any fitness accomplishments, this is something that most overlook and don’t give enough attention to.

Don’t Eat While Watching TV

When eating while staring at the television, you can wind up taking in a larger number of calories than anticipated. Distractions in general, including driving or texting while eating have also been shown to increase caloric intake. Alternatively, you should have your meals be placed on a kitchen table, regardless of if you are eating alone or not. Developing good eating habits can be a big benefit when beginning a diet.

Careful of What You Drink

You will remain hungry even after consuming that innocent-appearing beverage, which can have large numbers of calories. Use the weekends to treat yourself but be sure to cut back in another place. Each drink of a glass of wine, light beer, vodka, and soda have around 100 calories a serving. A good diet habit to always practice is to drink a glass of water.

Get More Sleep

Make better choices about the foods you eat by getting more rest. You will probably be a less likely culprit of snacking out of stress and fatigue when you have achieved the right amount of sleep. The likelihood of an increased weight gain will happen if you do not receive enough rest. Notwithstanding the considerable advantages a decent rest can have on your dietary patterns, it can likewise do a great deal for your daily cognitive function and demeanor.

Green Tea Is Great

In the event that you’re an avid coffee consumer, the very best thing you can do is make the switch to green tea. Excessive caffeine intake can cause dehydration or gains in water weight. Green tea, on the other hand, promotes stable weight and overall good health. You can often find decaffeinated tea at supermarkets.

Stock Up On Yogurt

If you want to shed pounds, consider adding yogurt, either low-fat or non-fat, to your daily diet. Yogurt’s fat burning properties are due to the cultures it contains. The cultures found in yogurt help burn fat but additionally contribute to helping digestion and helping improve the immune system. Tons of people give yogurt the credit for their dieting success.

Chewing your food more thoroughly has been shown to contribute to dieting. Chewing your food in a more thorough manner will help to make you feel fuller more quickly, and that means you’re much less likely to eat more than you really need. You’ll also find that your digestion improves when you chew your food slowly. There’s no hard and fast rule, but chewing each bite about 30 times seems to contribute to dieting.

Supplements Can Help

While it’s best to get your vitamins and minerals from food sources, vitamins can be beneficial if you aren’t able to do so. Sometimes what is ideal and what is actually feasible are different things, so supplements are a solid protocol if getting all your vitamins and minerals from food isn’t possible. If your goal is to lose weight and build muscle then you should perhaps look into one of the best test boosters of 2017, as these can help you reach your fitness goals.

I might also add that although we didn’t talk about exercising in this post, it is one of the best things you can do to improve your health and wellbeing. I just started using a new product in my workouts and I just had to share it with everyone. You may or may not know I started getting into Crossfit not that long ago and while I love doing it I was noticing my wrists were killing me from all the movements you tend to do. I found what I think is the best crossfit wrist wraps on the market from Essential Fitness and I must say my wrist issues are a thing of the past now. So if you are in need of something to help in that area, I highly recommend their products.

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Gluten Free Grains 101: What can you eat?

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I eliminated gluten from my diet in August of 2008. At that time, most people had never heard of gluten, gluten allergies, gluten intolerance, or Celiac Disease. When I told my officemates at them time, my friend Lisa said: “What’s a gluten?” They were seriously confused. Fortunately, in the 3 years that I’ve been gluten free, more and more information about the intolerance is becoming part of mainstream knowledge.

My new dietary restrictions were confusing to me at first, too. I knew that it was the protein in wheat and other grains. I knew that I couldn’t eat bread or drink beer anymore, but that’s about the extent of my knowledge. Now I know that there are many grains that don’t contain gluten or contain a small enough amount that it might not bother people with intolerances. People with severe allergies and/or Celiac Disease will need to be more cautious and consult their doctor if they are unsure about what grains they can consume.

Here are some grains that are generally safe for people with gluten intolerances –

  • Rice – This one grain opens up tons of possibilities for cooking and baking. Being able to eat rice means that rice flour is acceptable, too. Rice flour is the base for a lot of gluten free baking mixes. I’ve even made my own rice flour with organic brown rice and a coffee bean grinder. If you don’t have gluten free pasta handy, rice is a great alternative.
  • Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) – This is one of my all-time favorite grains and one I had no idea existed until I went gluten free. Quinoa originates from South American and was believed by the Incans to be the “Mother of all Grains”. It is also a great source of amino acids and a complete vegan protein (source). Quinoa cooks quickly, which makes it an easy option for weeknight dinners. I cook it in my rice cooker and it takes all of 15 minutes. Make sure you rinse your quinoa thoroughly first in a fine sieve. I use quinoa like I would use rice, in vegetable salads, and in baked casseroles.
  • Corn – Thank goodness for corn and corn meal. Corn allows us gluten intolerant folk to eat Mexican food (corn tortillas) and Thanksgiving dinner (cornbread dressing), with just a few minor adjustments to cooking ingredients or corn flour. I make quesadillas with corn tortillas and my mom has been making cornbread dressing at Thanksgiving for several years with 100% cornmeal. I need to get that recipe. Also check into polenta, if you’ve never had it. It’s a great substitution in Italian cooking and a versatile ingredient that most people have never tried.
  • Oats – Oats can be tricky to gluten intolerant people. Oats themselves are gluten-free, but the cross contamination is so likely that is makes eating them risky. Also, some varieties of oats can trigger symptoms in celiac patients and not in people with simple intolerances. To be on the safe side, gluten-free oats are available in most health food stores. These have been kept from cross contamination. I grind oats in my food processor or coffee grinder to make oat flour. I then make muffins, pancakes, or quick bread with the flour like these Cinnamon Raisin Muffins.
  • Buckwheat – I know it has a confusing name, but buckwheat is a plant that has no relation to actual wheat. Buckwheat is closer in relation to sunflower seeds. The flour from buckwheat is usually added to gluten-free baking mixes and buckwheat noodles (soba) are a staple in Japanese food. It’s also used in the making of gluten free beer.

This list isn’t exhaustive, but needless to say there are lots of options for gluten intolerant folks. Kids are more receptive to trying new things that you might initially think. Make it a goal to try one new gluten free grain a week or month. It will be a while before you get bored. Good luck!

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Yummy Gluten-Free Green Beans

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Oh Monday, you were too good to me. Seriously… Monday? Is that you? This felt like a Thursday, worst case scenario. I had a great day.

  • I didn’t have any problems finding something to wear.
  • There was no traffic on the way to or from work.
  • It was overcast today (much cooler) but never rained. Win!
  • I had Cinnamon Chex (gluten free!) for breakfast. Holy Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Batman. This stuff is gonna be dangerous.
  • I finally got to meet my customer today. They are super nice and my lead reminds me of Patrick Swayze a little. If he could just say “Nobody puts Baby in a corner”, I’ll never ask for another present, Santa Claus.
  • I actually got to do some work today and I enjoyed it. Someone smack me.

After work, I met Adam and the kids at the gym. I had a brief run, but couldn’t get into my strength training workout. I skipped out a little early and came home to start dinner. I recreated a casserole with canned (Amy’s Kitchen) chili instead of homemade. I definitely wasn’t as good, but it was still tasty. I also cooked up these yummy green beans on the side.

Yummy Green Beans

  • 1 package frozen green beans, cooked as directed.
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped.
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil or butter
  • 1/4 cup gluten free corn meal
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  1. Sauté onion in butter or olive oil until translucent
  2. Add garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Add corn meal. Stir and combine for 1 minute.
  4. Add cooked green beans and cook for on minutes.
  5. Serve immediately.

Both of these dishes were a huge hit with the kids. Adam commented that the green beans reminded him of Thanksgiving because of the cornmeal. He said it was reminiscent of cornbread dressing and that’s never a bad thing.

I would be overjoyed if my Tuesday turned out half as good as my Monday. Yeah, I just said that.

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My Gluten Free Journey

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In January of 2007, I was diagnosed with Graves Disease (Autoimmune Hyper-Thyroidism). The doctors gave me 2 options for treatment –

  1. Use radioactive iodine to obliterate my thyroid and be on thyroid hormones for the rest of my life.
  2. Take a round of anti-thyroid drugs for 18 months and see if, by chance, the disease goes into remission.

I know it sounds like #2 is the obvious choice, but most doctors in the U.S. recommend option #1. The only reason my doctor let me go with option #2 was because I was breastfeeding my son. Only one anti-thyroid drug is safe for breastfeeding mothers, so if it didn’t work I’d be forced to take the radioactive iodine.

Luckily a few months in, my symptoms subsided. The meds were working. I was also taking beta blockers during this time, because my resting pulse was around 140 (:-O). As my treatment progressed, I could tell that the disease wasn’t going into remission. If I forgot to take my meds (either one), my pulse would race and I’d get hand tremors again. I was devastated to know that at the end of the 18 months I would probably have to have my thyroid obliterated.

So in a last ditch effort, I started scouring the internet and reading about correlations between diet and Graves Disease. One thing that kept coming up in searches, was the link between hyperthyroidism and gluten intolerance. I only had a few months left on my meds, so I didn’t have anything to lose. I made a simple grocery list that cut out all bread, cookies, crackers, and grains and went gluten-free. The first day was tough. When you’re accustomed to eating sandwiches and pizza and breads, cutting it out cold-turkey feels strange. On the second day, I noticed increased energy. I had been falling asleep in my afternoon meetings for months and now all of the sudden I was WIDE awake. By day three, I was convinced. I didn’t need a doctor or a blood test to tell me that this was good for my body. Most of the time, our bodies will tell us what it needs. We just aren’t conditioned to listen to it.

So I was now gluten-free. I had increased energy. My digestion was regular. My skin cleared up. It was amazing.

A few months later when it was time to stop taking the anti-thyroid drugs, I did so cautiously. I was terrified at the prospect of taking drugs forever. Fortunately,  I stopped taking my meds and my symptoms DIDN’T return. I’m not a doctor (duh). I can’t tell you if it was finishing the round of drugs or the elimination of gluten that made my disease go into remission. But I do know that 2.5 years later my thyroid levels are “spot on” normal (just had them tested last month). And being gluten-free has had all kinds of wonderful positive side effects – like weight loss, clearer skin, more energy.

DISCLAIMER – I acknowledge my gluten intolerance and eat as gluten-free as possible. But I admit to not being a purist. Sometimes I go eat sushi and use regular soy sauce. I know that there is wheat in soy sauce. Sometimes it upsets my stomach sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t always worry about trace amounts. So please don’t eat what I eat and feel that it’s 100% gluten free. If you have Celiac or a more serious gluten allergy, use your own judgment.

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