Thursday, March 15, 2012

Paleo Diet

This is for you experienced dieters and health nuts.  The Paleo Diet consists of eating completely natural foods that occur in the environment before agriculture began changing our eating habits.  Meats, Fish, Nuts, Spinach, berries etc. make up this diet.  I frequently use this diet as a good way to purify my system from time to time.  It is a sustainable diet that you can stay on forever.  I have clients who have gluten allergies, diabetes, heart disease etc. and this is the diet I prescribe for them because it contains no sugars or grains.  The Paleo diet is also great for athletes because it contains a lot of lean protein.

Attached is a link for a great cookbook that contains easy Paleo recipes.  All my clients who are prescribed the Paleo diet own and love this book.  Check out the web page to learn more. 

Until Next Time,


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Are you Cool enough?

With spring right around the corner it's time to break out the new wardrobe which most likely consists of slimming outfits.  But there is more to staying cool in the spring/summer than wearing shorts.  Your diet effects the internal temperature of your body.  Avoid eating "hot" foods and start eating "cool" foods.  Let me elaborate.  What seems like common sense to some is a foreign language to others.  

When the weather gets warm you should eat foods that will help keep your body cool.  These include:

Raw Carrots
Spicy dishes


White Flour
Processed meats
Red Wine
Fatty foods

Follow this list and you will remain cool.

Until Next Time,


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Go Nuts

Your nuts if Almonds, Peanut, Cashews etc. aren't a part of your diet.  The benefits of eating nuts are vast.  The healthy fats in these foods help support your brain as well as your heart.  Those that eat nuts have been found to eat less due to the satiating effect of these wonderful foods.  Nuts and seeds are also very calorie dense so if your in a hurry you can grab a handful and fill up on something natural rather than a protein bar.  The amount of protein varies somewhat between varieties but you can expect to receive a great deal no matter what type of seed you choose.  This protein also comes without any saturated fat so it's extremely healthy for your heart.  Studies have shown that those who consume nuts and seeds have better brain function.  This is due to the healthy fats found in all varieties. 

So go grab a handful.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pan-Seared Salmon

Here is a great easy way to cook Salmon.


Salmon Filet (any size)
Black Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. Preheat oven to 425
2. Heat a medium skillet on stove top burner.
3. Add olive oil to coat pan. Let oil get hot.
4. Place fish skin side down in pan.
5. Cook fish until slightly browned on side then turn over (time will depend on thickness of fish).
6. Once both sides are browned put whole pan in oven and bake for 10min. again exact time will depend on size of filet.
7. Then put back on stove top and melt small amount of butter on top.
8. Enjoy

* Oil may splatter. Avoid putting cold fish in pan. Let it warm up on the counter for at least a half hour before cooking.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Meet your Meat

I have clients who ask me all the time about whether or not meat is healthy.  I always tell them the same thing.  As long as you are buying meat that hasn't been treated with antibiotics and other hormones then you can definitely enjoy the wonderful benefits of meat in your diet.  We must be wary of these large packing plants because of the way they treat the animals.  Often times the cattle will be fed grains which, are not natural to a cow.  They are supposed to be fed grass for optimal health.  So the grains make them sick and then to combat illness the packers give them antibiotics and steroids.  These chemicals are transferred to us when we consume these animals and are largely responsible for sickness and disease.  

It doesn't matter where you purchase your meat products as long as assurance of humane practices can be provided.  I personally like whole foods.  They have a great selection of meat products and can be trusted when it comes to food safety.  You should try to consume the leanest meat possible to avoid large amounts of saturated fat.  The best way to prepare meat is by grilling or broiling, this burns off most of the fat so you can have a nice piece of lean protein.  

Now I must get back to the kitchen to prepare a nice filet. 

Until Next Time,


Friday, March 9, 2012

"Sugar is Sweet, but not, as Sweet, as you"

Just about every health publication out there will tell you how bad sugar is for your body.  I certainly agree that there are types of sugar that are horrible for your health. But we must remember that cane sugar is a natural plant belonging to the grass family.  This natural sugar is something that can be part of a healthy diet.  I should mention that even cane sugar undergoes some processing that turns its color snow white.  If possible one should consume sugar in the raw.  You may have seen this type offered at Starbucks in small packets to be used with coffee.  This type typically comes from Hawaii and other tropical locations.  

What types of sugar should we avoid?

High Fructose Corn Syrup is a synthetic substance that is used in place of real sugar in processed foods.  HFCS is made from corn that has been chemically altered into a syrup.  This syrup is much cheaper for manufacturers because of its synthetic nature and unlike real sugar it doesn't have to be sourced from the environment.  HFCS is responsible for a whole host of horrible health effects from diabetes to obesity.  This type of sweetener should be avoided at all costs. 

So can we eat all the cane sugar we want?

As with anything you must use moderation.  You can however integrate real sugar into your diet at small amounts.  The best way to keep your sugar intake in check is to find balance in your daily meals.  If you have a tea with real sugar then don't also eat a bunch of pastry at the same time.  Keep in mind that even cane sugar undergoes processing so if you can find the raw variety at Whole Foods you will be better off.  I don't advocate drinking soda but for those of you who might want an occasional coke, try to find the Mexican kind that comes in glass bottles.  This coke contains real sugar because unlike America, the Mexican market won't support HFCS in their drinks.  

Now go out and treat yourself to a little ice cream, from a local homemade store of course. 

Until Next Time,


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Renegade Recipe Guide

A few days ago I picked up this amazing plant based recipe book.  Although I'm not a vegetarian I do enjoy eating plant based meals every now and then to keep my system clean.  This recipe book contains a hundred or so amazing meals with everything from breakfast to dessert.  I have recently been exploring the plant based diet after watching the movie "Forks and Knives" which, I will review in another post. 

Definitely check it out.  I'm certain there are many of you who, like me are interested in a plant based meal yet don't know where to begin.  This best thing about these recipes is that they are very balanced meals that fill you up, unlike some other meat-free recipe books.  

So here is the link.  Let me know if you like it.

Renegade Recipe Guide

Super Green Smoothie

The other day I created a really great recipe for a super smoothie using all natural ingredients.  So take out your blenders and lets go.  Just in time for spring too.

You will need:

A blender
2 Cups of Kale or Spinach
1 Banana
1 1/2 Cups of Blueberries (frozen if you'd like)
Honey (to taste)

Mix until fully blended then enjoy.  You may need to push down the Kale to get it mixed in completely because sometimes it doesn't reach the blades. 

I hope you like it.  Feel free to comment below. 


Caffeine has an interesting reputation.  Some claim it brings great benefits and others are concerned with its potential effect on the heart.  Unless you drink an insane amount of caffeine, it can be a wonderful part of your diet.  Provided that you consume it from a natural source such as tea, coffee or espresso.  

In today's busy world we constantly are looking for something to keep up going.  Many people resort to energy drinks which, aren't natural and contain a whole host of chemicals.  I prefer the smooth flavor of an iced latte to waken me.  Caffeine can provide you with energy, help you focus, workout harder and speed up your metabolism.  Of course you don't want to overdo it by drinking multiple cups of coffee throughout the day.  You should definitely avoid caffeine at least 4 hours before bed time as it can really mess up your sleep cycle.  

Unless you have a heart condition, coffee and tea can be a great natural beverage to consume before hitting the gym.  I can train longer and harder without straining my body after a nice latte.  There have been many studies over the years that have proven the wonderful effects of caffeine on your training program.  

The most important aspect of caffeine as it relates to coffee and tea is the great combination of wonderful foods that can be consumed with it.  These beverages can really enhance the flavor of a meal and are a great alternative to soda. 

Now get to Starbucks right away. 

Until Next Time,


White Flour?

Everyday I encounter people who tell me they don't like whole wheat products.  Of course these products are the best type of carb for you as they won't raise insulin levels as much as white flour.  But is white flour really that bad?  This is a trick question because the answer is yes and no.  Let me explain.

If you consume mass produced products that contain white flour then yes, you are putting very bad chemicals into your body.  However, if you like white bread, then you can try getting it from a local Italian bakery that makes their breads in house.  You will still be consuming white flour but there won't be any other additives that are toxic to your body.  Ever wonder why bread purchased in a supermarket lasts forever?  It's because it contains so many chemicals to preserve its shelve life.  The bread from the local bakery will go stale in a day or two but this is a good sign of its natural state.  

The same concept applies to pasta, I purchase mine at Whole Foods because they only use flour, egg, and water.  The flavor is great because it's just naturally made and they will hand cut it for me.  If you don't live near a Whole Foods you may want to try a local shop that makes their own pasta.  

Now that you are aware of the difference between mass market flour products and locally produced you can enjoy consuming pasta and bread without to much concern.  Don't go crazy though and eat too much, everything in moderation is the best strategy. 

I am going to enjoy some pasta primavera for lunch.

Until Next Time,


The Power of Exercise

Regardless of how much you eat or don't eat you must exercise at least a few times a week.  You must lift extremely heavy weights and strain your body!  NO I'M JUST KIDDING.  That is exactly what you don't want to do.  

The type of exercise doesn't matter as long as you are using proper breathing techniques and avoid putting undo stress on your body.  I personally like yoga, walking and light running, swimming and biking.  

Many people believe that if you exercise at a really intense level that you will lose weight and be healthy.  There is a certain amount of truth to this but it's not the whole story.  If you are trying to excel at running lets say, then you must push your body to the next level to progress and get faster.  For our purpose of trying to become healthy and fit, you don't want to strain yourself.  This will cause your body to go into a catabolic state, which means it will burn muscle and this is not what we want.  My past article on stress will explain in more detail the effect of stress on your weight loss efforts.  

So when you exercise remember to find a balance between stress and relaxation.  This is what yoga is all about and we will discuss that in a later article.  You want to feel good after exercise.  You may be slightly tired but you want to feel slightly energized.  Avoid feeling sore and exhausted.  This will only slow your metabolism (due to lack of energy) and be detrimental in the long run. 

Now go outside and get some fresh air.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Scared of Fat?

Are you afraid to eat fats?  Many people believe that if you eat fat you will become fat.  This is simply not true.  Often times these people will avoid fat which means that they must consume more carbs and/or protein to meet their basic caloric needs.  This is bad because too many carbs will cause your insulin to rise.  Fat slows digestion and allows your body the time to absorb all the wonderful nutrients in your meal.  Furthermore, without fat your body can't absorb certain fat-soluble vitamins.  This is a huge problem because then you will run the risk of becoming deficient and developing health problems.  Don't be afraid of fat, enjoy the wonderful flavors it adds to your meals. 

So what types of fat should you consume?  Olive Oil has long been used in certain European countries because it has profound benefits for your body.  Use olive oil as a substitute for butter on your vegetables and throughout your food preparation process.  Omega fatty acids are also another great fat to consume because they support the brain.  You can find this type of fat in salmon, tuna, bass and many other types of fish.  

There are some types of fat that you should ignore.  These include saturated fat and trans fat.  Saturated fat is mostly found in meats and trans fat is a synthetic fat found in baked goods and fried foods.  Trans fat is extremely toxic to your body and you should avoid it.  

So eat up my friends and don't be afraid to consume healthy fats.  These will help satiate you, keeping you from feeling hungry and deprived while trying to diet. 

Until Next Time,


Don't Get With The Program

It seems as if everyone is on some type of crazy program these days.  The grapefruit diet, peanut butter diet, the liquid diet, and so many more.  Do these diets work?  Yes, for a day or two at most.  Whether you want to lose a massive amount of weight or just tone up a bit, the principles to get you there are the same.  Do you really want to be on a restrictive diet with a giant list of "forbidden" foods?  Well you don't have to be so keep reading.  

There are two main reasons for obesity in the industrialized world, especially America, lack of adequate exercise and consumption of processed foods.  Yes, at a very basic level the amount of calories consumed and burned are responsible for weight gain and loss, but there is much more to it.  Processed and "convenience" foods contain synthetic chemicals to preserve their shelve life and provide a flavor to an otherwise pretty poorly prepared food.  When you consume these chemicals/foods your body doesn't like these preservatives so it tries to eliminate them as quickly as possible.  This puts your system under stress and prevents your metabolism from maintaining a healthy pace.  These foods contain a large number of empty calories so your body doesn't feel full and you keep eating and as a result you gain weight.  

In this blog we will talk about a way to consume food without counting calories and cutting carbs and/or fat.  The first step is to stop eating processed foods.  This means no fast food, frozen dinners, twinkles, chips, etc.  You must also eliminate sugary foods for now but we will discuss those later and you will be able to consume them with moderation.  I don't want you to worry about calories right now.  Eat as much as you want for now provided it's natural and not processed.  I'm talking about chicken, fruit, vegetables, meats, etc.  Next time we will get more specific regarding your diet and I will explain to you how to enjoy food while being healthy.  
For now just get used to eating natural foods and we will turn it up a notch soon. 

Until Next Time,


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Effect of Stress

Stress is unfortunately not something we can avoid in our lives but how we deal with it can make a huge difference on how our body functions.  Many people don't know that stress can sabotage our weight loss efforts and keep us from burning fat.  There are a vast number of ways stress can hurt our body but we will focus on the effect it has on weight loss. 

When we are under stress our body produces a hormone by the name of cortisol.  Our body doesn't like cortisol so it must try to eliminate it as quickly as possible.  Cortisol in our system weakens our immune system, increases blood pressure, reduces collagen, and counteracts insulin.  I could go into great detail to expand on each one of these effects however our purpose here is to understand how stress is hurting our metabolism.  

When we are under stress our body goes into a fight or flight response.  During this phase our body doesn't care about burning calories and fat.  The only thing that matters in this phase is survival.  Our system doesn't care about weight loss, reproduction, growth, or what TV show we are going to watch later.  This is an important yet often overlooked aspect of developing a great physique. 

So what can we do?  Well fortunately there are many ways to reduce stress such as cardio, yoga, listening to music, and so on.  Whatever way works for you is fine.  If you feel that you are becoming stressed out during the day take a few moments to relax.  This will have a profound effect on your body along with some of the dietary methods we will discuss later. 



Eat Anything You Want (and enjoy)

Many overweight Americans believe that in order to loose weight they must go on an extremely restrictive diet.  Often times these individuals end up malnourished because they have eaten too little and as a result they aren't getting the vitamins and minerals their bodies need to loose weight and most importantly stay healthy while doing it.  So the weight just stays put while these folks feel hungry and tired all day.  Well there is a better way to loose weight while staying healthy.  

If you are one of these people mentioned in the former paragraph then keep reading because I am going to help you get out of that horrible cycle of starving yourself only to loose a few pounds before your body revolts on your diet and you start eating a lot again only now with a slower metabolism.  This becomes a dreadful cycle that I am going to help you overcome. 

This blog aims to focus on developing not a diet but a new healthy lifestyle and principles you can live by forever.  I am going to explain in later articles how you can eat anything you want and stay healthy while losing weight.  You won't be calorie cutting, drinking protein shakes (unless you like them), or eating bland foods.  There is one thing you will avoid and I will discuss in detail what that is in the coming articles.

Until Next Time,