Friday, January 27, 2012

Popchips and other great things to try!

Okay, my peeps know I am slightly obsessed with Popchips. I eat at them a lot. The whole bag has 3 servings, 120 calories a serving, 4g of fat, 190mg sodium, 18g of carbs. Now, I am not saying these are “good for you,” because they are still “junk food” but they are a whole heck of a lot better than regular potato chips!

So imagine my delight when I find that my fave health food store Trader Joes, has their own brand of popped chips! For HALF the price I was paying!! I saw them, quickly read the stats and they were near identical, so I grabbed a bag of plain and barbecue.

But it doesn’t stop there!!

Next to them were some chips called “Reduced Guilt Skinny Fries.” It’s described as “air-popped potato sticks with sea salt.” They were the same price as the TJ’s popped chips, and the same amount of servings per bag. The calories are a bit lower at 110 per serving, fat lower at 2g, but the sodium is almost double at 320. I grabbed 2 bags of that anyway. I LOVE salty snacks!

I opened a bag in my car, I couldn’t wait. The sticks were pretty good, not as salty as chips, but enough…with an almost airy taste, which means you will want to eat more. They would be a combination of potato chips and fries.  Love them!  It looks like a lot for 3 servings, so maybe I won’t devour the whole bag in one sitting like the popchips!

Other must grabs when you get to Trader Joes:

Kind bars: If you have a sweet tooth, these are better than ANY candy bar I have ever tasted. Well, my opinion. They even have one drizzled in chocolate. These are addictive! I like to buy them buy the case, about $1.49 per bar.

Raw, unsalted nuts and seeds: I have stock piles of nuts, so I only grabbed some raw, unsalted sunflower seeds this time. But try almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds or pistachios (they are roasted, but unsalted)

Hummus: If you never tried this, get thee to Trader Joes and try it! A container is only $1.99

Pizza dough: I didn’t get any this time because I went on my lunch break, but this is great for making homemade pizza.

Edamame: Again, go try these. When I was vegetarian is was a good source of protein for me.

Ezekiel bread: This is one of the very few breads considered “clean” and therefore helpful when trying to live healthier. You’ll have to adjust to the taste, and it’s a bit pricey (TJ has their own brand of sprouted bread).

Pitas: They have various sizes, but I like the mini ones for scooping up hummus, but the regular sized ones are good for stuffing with sandwich fixings.

Tea: Trader Joes has some of the best, cheap tea selections…except they stopped making mine awhile ago and I have yet to find a replacement.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

To see big results, get comfortable being uncomfortable

Losing weight is not easy, so get ready for some hard work!

No boo-hooing that drinking 8+ cups of water is too hard! In fact, that is not enough! Half your body weight in ounces…plus more if you work out at a high intensity (which you should be).

No complaining that lifting weights is boring, or hard, or you don’t know what to do! Get a trainer, even just for one session to show you what to do. Lifting weights should be done THREE times a week. And after your body adjusts to doing it, add more weights and/or reps. Yeah, it’ll hurt, but SO WHAT!

Ha ha ha! You really believe that 30 minutes of walking will help you lose weight? Okay, good start, but your body would adjust to that rather quickly, then you will have to pick up the pace. For serious weight loss, 60 minutes or more. I didn’t stutter! If you are just going through the motions to say you did something…expect to be comfortable with no results.

Eeew! My egg whites and chicken breasts are not that great with no salt added! Yep, but guess what, I am comfortable being uncomfortable for a bit. Try new seasonings that give your food flavor without adding sodium. And by the way egg whites? Yes, lose those yolks please.

But everybody else is going out and enjoying McDs and Pizza Hut, it’s no fair! Yep, say bye-bye to all the fast food. Hey, I love the stuff myself, but it does not love me. There are a few fast food places where you can make better choices…find them! Subway is high on my list.

“I give up! It’s just so hard, hard, hard!” How many times do we feel like this? What did I just tell you in my first sentence? “Losing weight is not easy, so get ready for some hard work!” There, I repeated it, now read it, underline it, cut it out, post it on your forehead. Heck, I’m a personal trainer, I KNOW what to do, and this does not make it any easier for me. I get tired…I want some French fries…I want to lay down and read a book instead of working out…I want a handful of Skittles and not munch on these apples…oh well!

I hope I made you mad.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

P90X Week 4 Day 24

I’ve skipped too many workouts. More than I wanted to. I was going to repeat week 3, but you know what, I’m going ahead with Week 4 with some modifications. I missed Legs day twice, and have yet to do Kenpo X at all (which happens to be my fave). So I will add those in this week.

Tonight I will do Arms and Shoulders, my second fave. I also will go for a run/walk. I am trying to aim for 120 of exercise minutes...or roughly so. Some of the P90X workouts are not a full 60 minutes…but it sure feels like it.

I’m excited to get to Week 5. I don’t think I made it that far last time. I think I will stick with it better in this next Phase as I really want to see the results, and two, the Just Lose It Challenge has begun and I need some good hardcore workouts in the next 12 weeks.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

P90X Week 3 Day 19

Plyometrics is definitely the mother of all X workouts!! Last night I did the complete 50 minutes!! Nearly all straight through, but I took like a 2 minute breather in between. Next, to go all the way through no extended breaks. Hey, but that’s what the pause button is for!

After that, it would be to get my form perfected and punching out each move 100% no gasping for air like I’m about to die. Tony said before the workout, “Get your buckets ready.” Oh yeah, it definitely makes you want to hurl at some points, but I did not. This workout reminded me a lot of the Insanity workouts…which by the way, did make me puke.

I must, MUST getting my eating back on track, or else, all this hard work won’t show!

My legs feeling like jello today lets me know I go hard all the time! I also did 20 minutes if Zumba too. Too bad Legs and Back is tonight….this is one of the tougher ones for me. I don’t like this one at all…but I will push myself to do the best and complete the whole workout, with some modifications of course.

I also have a run/walk scheduled for today. I will take things slow this time, but still run a bit. My goal is shortening my 3-mile time. I did about 55 minutes last time, so I am aiming for 50 minutes, mostly fast walking, a few short sprints in there.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ask the Trainer: How many calories should I eat?

This was a hot topic of discussion yesterday. To a newbie to a healthy lifestyle/weight loss regime, it can be daunting.

And guess what, this Trainer does not have the answer!

I get this question a lot, but because I have not studied nutrition, this is really not my forte. If you listen to my advice, listen with a grain of salt and do your own research or find a nutritionist to help you. All I can offer is my opinion on things.

Okay, that’s my PT disclaimer.

So really, how many calories do you need to lose weight? Going to depend on so many factors: age, height, current weight, goals, activity level, even gender.

In general, men need between 2,000 to 2,400 calories and woman between 1,200 and 1,500 calories per day. Consuming less than 1,200 calories per day can be harmful to your health since it may trigger your body to go into starvation mode, causing your body to actually hold onto calories.

Women in don't need to eat as many calories as men. Also, people who exercise vigorously on a regular basis need to eat more than those who don't.

Me, I’m a fan of calorie cycling. My calorie range is 1300-1600, and most days I stay close to 1300 (I try to never go under 1200), but I must have at least 1-2 days a week where I hit that 1600. Either it’s on my “off day” on the weekend, or a midweek treat. Also, having a high calories day is great if you go off tracked when you did not plan to. The next day, get right back at it and hit that low calorie range and stick to that for a few days.

But listen, if you are extremely overweight, you NEED to eat way more than I do! 1200 calories are not enough and it puts your body in starvation mode…and worse, triggers cravings and binges. If you weigh more, eat more! And for every 10 pounds you lose, recalculate your calories needs. If you increase your activity level, eat more!

Check out this website to calculate your calorie needs:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

P90X Week 3 Day 17

Well, honestly, I have missed more days than I planned to with this, but guess what? No worries! I am going to keep pushing through and try my best and do it every day, that’s all I can do!

Last night I did Shoulders and Back. This one is not that bad. I like it enough…though all those push-ups, GEESH! I need to get to the point I can do regular push-ups and not the girl ones all the time. Two, to do a dive-bomber would be heaven. I just look at them on the DVD like, “Yeah, right!”

I can feel my arms, shoulders and back getting stronger. I can’t wait to see my body totally transform! I’m sure I would be seeing better results if my eating was better. I do good during the week….the weekend comes, then its anything goes!

Well, I will be starting another Just Lose It contest starting next week, so ummm, my weekends need to be on point! I will start with a Monday weigh-in like I did last time, but gradually shift over to Thursday like I did before.

This time, I have my sister in it with me, as well as several of my sorority sisters. Friendly competition between us will egg me on! I’m not striving to win this like before….not even second place…..but to be in the Top 10 would be AMAZING!!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Ask the Trainer: 10 Minutes 3x a Day or 30 Minutes, What's More Effective?

I thought this was an excellent question! Yes, 10 minutes three times a day can be just effective as 30 minutes!

But you have to make it work, no time for lolly-gagging. If that’s all the time you have, you better MAKE IT WORK! Calories burned is calories burned, right? And if you burn 300 calories walking/jogging on the treadmill, then walking/jogging 10 minutes 3 times a day, should get you a near equal (if not higher) calorie burn.

How is that possible? For me, if I only had 10 minutes, I would go all out, full force and jog for 10 minutes, versus for me (and with many others) jogging for 30 minutes straight is tough and not doable.

So with a 1-2 minute warm-up, I would follow that with a 8 minutes straight jog as fast as my little legs could go, then cool down for one minute, and make sure I get a couple of stretches in. Maybe I do 10 in the morning, 10 in the afternoon, and 10 at night. That’s my MINIMUM of 30 minutes of cardio I suggests everyone does daily.

Here are a couple of other 10 minute workouts you can scatter through-out the day:
  • Stationary bike, mine is in my living room, so I can do 10 minutes at a time while watching TV
  • Treadmill walk/jog. Start off slow, but then continue to increase your speed every minute going as fast as you can go. For the last minute, go back to a moderate pace.
  • Dancing, cut on some music and dance like a rock star for 10 minutes
  • Turbo Kick/Fire has a few short videos
  • Hip Hop Abs has an awesome 5-minute workout, make sure and do a 2 minute warm-up and 3 minute cool down, even if it’s just walking in place.
  • Tae Bo has an 8 minute workout
  • Walk stairs! I worked on the 16th floor once, and on breaks, we would go down and up…sometime this took longer than 10 minutes, but whew, this is a workout!
  • Create a 10-minute bootcamp style workout, running, jumping jacks, burpees, lunges, squats, shadow boxing, whatever you like.
  • Jump rope. This is a tough one, but do three 3-minute increments, and in between do 25 push ups. You will feel the BURN!
  • Strength training can be done in 10 minutes too! Do push-ups, lunges and reverse crunches for 30 seconds each. Repeat this sequence for 10 minutes. Alternatively, perform triceps push-ups, body weight squats and Russian twists for 30 seconds each. Repeat this sequence for 10 minutes.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A few clean eating recipes

Blueberry Oatcake

4 egg whites
1/2 cup rolled oats (can use quick)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp water
1/3 cup blueberries
1 tbs almons (optional)

Whisk first four ingredients for about 1 minute, stir in 1/3 cup blueberries and 1 tbs sliced almonds. Heat a medium skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat: cook batter until eggs are set, usually 3 minutes. Flip oatcake and cook an additional minute. Top with 1/4 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt and 1 tsp maple syrup (if you would like).

Italian Sausage and Egg Muffins

3 mild Italian turkey sausage links
2 cups liquid egg whites (about 10-11 whites)
3 eggs
1 cup oats
2 cups spinach (roughly chopped)
1 small onion (chopped)
1 green pepper (chopped)
1 tomato (seeded and chopped)

Cook the turkey sausage until crumbly and no longer pink along with the chopped onion.

In a large bowl, mix all remaining ingredients and season to taste (you can use red pepper flakes, garlic powder, little salt, and pepper).

Grease a muffin tin (or two) and scoop mixture into tins. (Makes about 16-18 "muffins".)

Bake for about 20 minutes at 350 F.

Jamie Eason's Italian Turkey Burgers
Nutrition Facts:
Makes 8 (5 oz burgers)
Calories: 144
Fat: 1g
Carbs: 3.5g
Protein: 27.6g


2 packages of ground extra lean turkey breast
4 medium zucchini, grated
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp black pepper

Set broiler on high, arranging rack so that burgers will be about 2 inches from the heat.

In a large bowl, combine grated zucchini, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, dried basil, oregano, pepper and then turkey.

Mix well and scoop out 4-to-5 oz portions. Mixture will be really moist so for easier clean up, use a foil-lined baking sheet, prepped with non-stick spray.

Place burgers in oven and broil for 7 minutes. Carefully flip each burger and continue to broil for another 7 minutes on the other side. Serve warm.

Note: These are great at meatballs too! Make with spaghetti squash for a low carb meal.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ask the Trainer: How can I eat clean?

Clean foods are natural, free of added sugars, hydrogenated fats, trans-fats and anything else that is unnatural and unnecessary. Or I say, nothing from a bag, box or can.

Those frozen entrees are no good, not even if it says “Lean Cuisine” or “Smart Ones.” Nope, not such a smart idea!

Canned soup is out, I don’t care if it says “low-sodium, low fat, low-calorie.”

So then, you’re wondering, what can I eat? I don’t have time to prepare a breakfast/snack/lunch every day. Hint: BATCH COOK!

Find a couple of recipes that you like, make them your staples, and batch cook them over the weekend and portion them out for the rest of the week.

Here's some things that I do:

-Batch cook several chicken breast seasoned with Mrs. Dash.

-Batch cook a breakfast casserole that uses no salt, try Rachel MacMuffins (just google it)

-Boil a bunch of eggs

-Batch cook beans (my kids and I really like them)

-Jamie Eason Turkey meatloaf muffin. Google this recipe, trust me, they are good!

-Egg white bites (egg whites, veggies, and crumbled sausage if you like combined and made in a muffin pan).

In a pinch, here are some options:

-Kind bars. I LOVE these things. I found them at Trader Joes and they are awesome. All natural, low/no sodium

-Mariani granola and trail mix bars. I found these at Walmart. ZERO sodium, healthy all-natural bars

-Larabars, just fruit and nuts, nothing added to them.

-no salt added rice cakes are good with Laughing Cow cheese

-green beans and spinach are the best veggies to have on hand because they are good raw are steamed.

-Keep frozen fruit on hand for morning smoothies

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

P90X Day 10

I skipped a workout, but I will make up for it this week doing a couple of doubles.

Last night I went to the Y for Zumba, plus did Back and Chest. It should have been Plyo night, but after Zumba, I knew I was done for Cardio. Tonight I might do Plyo with the scheduled Shoulders and Arms. I know, that is hardcore!

I already know I will miss Friday’s workout due to an event, so I will try and do it early Saturday morning. I want to do this 90 days without skipping too many workouts. I mean, to see the results…you gotta do the work!

My eating was off for the weekend as well. Ugh! I have a lot of work to do with that. All I can do is my best…each and every day is a challenge, but I will never give up!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Slightly obsessed with having a six-pack

I think I have at least a dozen blogs about abs, but here are just a few:

Athletic Abs: Start Working baby!

Athletic Abs: Understanding the Abdominals

Athletic Abs: Stop dreaming

Ask the Trainer: Flat Abs

A hard lesson about six-pack abs

I made my 2012 vision board and I think it is slightly focused on getting a 6-pack! And then when I made a mini-vision board to carry in my purse, I noticed that it was all about six-packs!!

Here are some of the things I cut from Oxygen magazines to add to my vision board:

A six pack is the result of three things: The right cardio training, the correct abdominal training and a good clean diet. Nutrition plays a large role. Your overall body-fat percentage has to be reduced while whittling your middle with an ab routine. No matter how much you train, if your diet isn’t clean then your body won’t be able to shed the water and fat off your abs so you can see a flat, toned tummy. Walk away from the cookie and focus,” says Alicia Marie, fitness model and trainer

The six-pack secret. What keeps our abs buried beneath a layer of fat are empty carbs such as white bread, pasta and rice and of course, baked goods and other sweet treats that combine refined flour and a ton of sugar: two major roadblocks.

“Remind yourself that you are going for your best you. If you want a flatter, tighter, more toned tummy, then work must be put into training – and your diet had to be tight. Follow the rules and everything falls into place,” Alicia Marie says again. LOL, I have an obsession with her and all her fitness tips.

Want abs like these? (with a picture of Alicia Marie showcasing her abs) Eat blueberries. Their naturally occurring antioxidants might help reduce abdominal fat, according to a new study out of Michigan. Make sure to throw in plenty of cardio and some full-body weight training (not just crunches!) to achieve your killer six-pack.

Move to Do: A plank. This is an all-over core strengthener that you can work on gradually (start at 10 seconds, then increase to 1 minute). Fit it in! When you’re waiting for your morning oatmeal to cook, drop to the floor and get it done.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

P90X Day 5

Today is day 5 of my second try at P90X. The last time I tried it, nearly 2 years ago, I did not manage to get past 30 days before ditching it. And even the 30 days that I did do, I did not give it my all and skipped many workouts.

This time around I will do all 90 days!!

That is the plan. I know I can do it, because I really want to see the awesome results that others have had from doing this workout system 90 days in a row. I’m not saying I will be 100% with it every day, because I know there will be days I can’t get to it. And that’s okay. Either I will sub in another workout or use any skip day as a rest day.

I will also be doing other workouts as well. I take a few Zumba classes at the Y and also, I will start 5K training soon. And just to not get bored, I may do other things. On my good days I like to workout 2 hours a day. On a typical day, I get in 45-60 minutes.

Last night…barely 20 minutes. My Yoga X days will be subbed out with other yoga or pilates routines that I like, and I tried PiYo and I was working up a sweat, but then I just said, I’m done! I was tired and needed to get to bed at a decent time. Hey, sleep is important in a healthy lifestyle!!

So, I will try and post updates frequently, at least 1-2 times a week.