Because sometimes the most basic exercises are the most effective.
Push-ups are among the all-time great total body workout exercises. They incorporate the triceps, shoulders, chest, abdominals, back and core. They can be made easier or harder. They build strength and stamina. They force the heart to work harder and the blood to pump faster. This increases metabolism and helps you burn more calories.
And, they can be done anywhere, anytime, by anyone regardless of fitness level.
No space?… No equipment?… No time?… No Problem.
NO MORE EXCUSES!
If you cannot do one push-up today, begin with wall pushups or by standing about 2 feet away from your kitchen counter and pushing away for 3 sets of 15. Gradually work to
something lower as your strength increases. Once you build up arm and core strength, “graduate” to the floor, and begin by holding yourself up in a plank position with your chest off the ground. Start on your knees, with hands wide. (Wider is easier). Don’t worry if cannot go full range yet. .. In time you will.
Build Core Strength
In addition to building upper body strength and gaining more power in the arms, shoulders and hands, pushups done with the proper form will help build the core muscles in the middle of your body. To do pushups properly, your elbows must be fully extended at the start and end of a pushup, your toes should be on the floor and your legs, hips and back should be straight.
There are dozens of variations of push-ups out there.
If you find that push-ups put strain on your wrists, try placing your hands on a set of dumbbells (or a push-up bar) to keep your wrists in a more neutral position. According to Oxygen Magazine author Pam Mazzuca, performing pushups in this manner also increases core activation as well as engagement of the back, triceps and rear deltoids.
Angled, Medicine, Stability Ball, Bosu Pushups:
By altering the angle that you perform push-ups, you also change the emphasis of the muscles worked. Doing pushups with your feet on an incline work the shoulder and upper chest muscles a little bit harder than a standard pushup does. If you really want to challenge yourself, place your feet on a stability ball instead of a stationary object. This forces you to balance your body at the same time that you’re working your pushups, offering a tough variation. Incorporating an unstable, movable surface such as a medicine ball uses more core strength, increases difficulty of the exercise and engages more core and triceps.
As you continue to progress try: plyo, staggered, deficit, diamond, handstand pushups… just to name a few .
Walk-out pushups are one of many ways to incorporate pushups into your overall total body workout routine. Check out this short DEMO:
Start your own push-up challenge today and watch as you impress yourself as you gain not only strength but confidence!
The ingredient list is a quick way of judging a food product and is fairly straight forward, or is it?
If we are what we eat, then the ingredient list on the foods we consume may just give us pause. It would be ideal if we could all eat fresh, farm raised local foods and produce all the time, but the reality is that most of our pantries and refrigerators are stocked with cans, jars, bottles and boxes.
Therefore it is important to carefully read the ingredient list on any foods that are not wrapped in natures packaging. Ingredients are listed in descending order of predominance so therefore, the first 2-3 ingredients are the ones that matter most.. so the top 3 ingredients are what you are primarily eating. Ingredients at the bottom of the list may appear in only very tiny amounts.
BUT: Be cautious because often packaging can be misleading.
A product claiming to contain whole grains may in fact contain more sugar than whole grains. (Consider breakfast cereals). One of the most common tricks food manufacturers use is to distribute sugars among many ingredients so that sugars don’t appear in the top three. For example, a manufacturer may use a combination of sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, corn syrup solids, brown sugar, dextrose and other sugar ingredients to make sure none of them are present in large enough quantities to attain a top position on the ingredient list.
Some foods are laced with dozens of ingredients with complicated names that sound like they belong in a chemistry lab, not on your plate. If the ingredients list
contains long, chemical-sounding words that you can’t pronounce, avoid that item. Why would you want to eat them? Stick with ingredients you recognize. Look for words like “sprouted” or “raw” to indicate higher-quality natural foods. Sprouted grains and seeds are far healthier than non-sprouted. Raw ingredients are generally healthier than processed or cooked. Whole grains are healthier than “enriched” grains.
Don’t be fooled by the word “wheat” when it comes to flour. All flour derived from wheat can be called “wheat flour,” even if it is processed, bleached and stripped of its nutrition. Only “whole grain wheat flour” is a healthful form of wheat flour. Especially for breakfast cereals, crackers, pasta, and breads, the word “whole” should appear as the first or second ingredient, whether whole wheat, oats, rye, or another grain. One way to double-check is to look at the fiber content on the nutrition facts panel. Whole-grain foods should deliver at least 3 grams of fiber per serving and ideally even more.
Partially hydrogenated oils are the primary source of trans fats, which have been shown to be potentially more harmful to arteries than saturated fat. Foods can call themselves “trans-fat free” even if they contain up to half a gram of trans fats per serving. Look on the ingredients list. If a food contains partially hydrogenated oils, it contains trans fats. The American Heart Association recommends choosing vegetable oils and margarines with liquid vegetable oil as the first ingredient and no more than 2 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon, such as tub margarines, canola, corn, safflower, soybean, sunflower, and olive oils.
You won’t miss the beef.
- 1 1/2 lb ground turkey (or equal parts turkey and lean ground beef)
- 1 extra large egg, beaten
- 3/4-1 cup barley
- 1 med carrot julienne (very thinly sliced)
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 2 tbsp Dijon or spicy mustard
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp low sodium Dales seasoning (or Worcestershire)
- 1/3 + 1/4 cup grated parmesan/romano cheese blend . (Reserve some cheese for later)
*Seasoned Salt, Pepper, Parsley, Sage and Thyme – The key is in the herbs, be sure not to skimp here.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat 9×5 loaf pan with olive oil spray.
In large bowl mix together all loaf ingredients, adding mushrooms last. Season with spices to your taste. Mix with clean hands to combine well. Mixture should be moist. shape and place in loaf pan and bake approximatel 50-60 minutes.
During the last 10 minutes, baste with more ketchup and top with additional shredded cheese.
Let meatloaf rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
For variation, shape into meatloaf “patties” and cook in a skillet sprayed with olive oil.
Working out with weights will not cause joint pain.
Improper technique, insufficient rest, or poor nutrition might be contributing to your grief.
Joint pain is one of the most common problems among strength athletes. It’s something younger lifters rarely think about when lifting and too many seasoned lifters wish they had when they are forced to stop lifting due to years of stress on joints. Joints require mobility, stability, and motor control. Proper weight training has been found to improve joint health, return functionality and decrease pain. Regular exercise of the joints replenishes joint lubricants and builds cartilage. Stronger muscles from weightlifting exercises offer more support to the joints.
Joint pain can be a slow progression over a long period of time. Repeated injuries can lead to chronic joint pain. If you are experiencing pain from your weight lifting routine, you are probably doing something wrong. Chances are one or more of these factors can be attributed for your pain:
- ü Insufficient warm-up prior to lifting.
- ü Over training. They train too long and/or too often
- ü Using overly heavy weights/low reps more often than they should
- ü Insufficient rest/recovery time to allow joints, tendons, muscles to recuperate from intense work.
- ü Poor form and less than perfect technique during heavy lifts
- ü Inadequate vitamins and nutrients.
- ü All of the Above.
So let’s say that you are not guilty of the above 7 mistakes but still experience joint pain. It could be bursitis, tendinitis, arthritis or the like causing aching joints.
ARTHRITIS: Osteoarthritis, by far the most common to bodybuilders and athletes is caused by wear and tera on the joints. It is characterized by a deterioration of the cartilage at the ends of the bones. The once smooth cartilage becomes rough and causes more and more friction and pain.
BURSITIS: Joints contain small fluid filled sacks called bursae. The bursae assist in muscle and joint movement by cushioning the joints/bones against friction. Inflammation from various causes (See above 7 mistakes!) results in a chronic pain called bursitis.
TENDINITIS: Tendonitis occurs when tendons around a joint become severely inflamed from overuse, micro-injury, etc. It is probably the most common cause of pain to bodybuilders and other athletes and also the easiest to treat. But if left untreated, as when people just try to “work through the pain”, it can lead to much more serious problems.
Many medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, or treatments like cortical steroidal injections, address only symptoms and not the cause of the problem. In fact, research has shown just the opposite; by merely masking symptoms, they may do more harm than good in the long run .
And the ever popular “stay off of it “ advice just does not fly with highly active people. The good news is that natural compounds and other dietary supplements may be helpful in supporting joints before, during and after lifting sessions. If you are a lifter, joints require optimal nutrition to help you perform and recover.
Supplements to Consider:
GELATIN: A growing number of studies now show that just 10 rams of hydrolyzed gelatin a day is effective in greatly reducing pain, improving mobility and overall bone/cartilage health. Knox (the Jello people) have a product out called NutraJoint. It contains hydrolyze gelatin, calcium and vitamin C.
- Diets rich in Vitamin C, D, and Calcium are important for optimizing joint health.
FLAX OIL: (Omega 3 Fats.) One of flax oils many, many benefits are those to improve overall joint health. Flax oil is high in essential Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids, from fish, flax, etc., have been shown in scientific/medical literature to reduce chronic inflammation of any kind. The recommended dose is 1-3 tablespoons/day. Boost your intake with fatty fish (tuna,salmon,etc. ) walnuts, and flax. If you can’t get it through food, supplement with 1-3 g of EPA/DHA per day from fish oil.
WATER: Drink more water. Water helps to lubricate the joints. Aim for ½ – 1 oz per pound of body weight per day. Or at least aim to drink 5-6 20 oz bottles of water per day.
FIBER: Focus on high fiber foods, and whole grains with at least 3g of fiber per serving. Fiber controls blood glucose and therefore helps to control inflammation.
GLUCOSAMINE/CHONDROITIN SULFATE: Researchers have found both effective for promoting joint health . Found in the body naturally, glucosamine is a form of amino sugar believed to play a role in cartilage formation and repair. Chondroitin sulfate, on the other hand, is a large protein molecule or proteoglycan that gives cartilage elasticity. Numerous studies have shown that regular use of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate offers pain relief similar to that offered by anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, but minus the gastrointestinal upset that may accompany long-term use of these medications. A daily dose of 1,200 mg has been shown to reduce joint pain.
It is never too early to take good care of your joints so that you are able to work out longer and more importantly remain pain free. Always begin your workout with range-of-motion exercises or an aerobic warm-up . Lift with perfect form. Ice your joints following exercise to reduce pain and swelling.
Joint pain should not go untreated. Don’t try to self diagnose. Be sure to get an opinion from a trusted sports doctor first to determine exactly what your problem is.
Good for you food with wholesome ingredients in 30 minutes.
These muffins use fresh, simple ingredients and pack a huge nutritional punch. They are high in protein, and contain a hearty blend of grains, fiber and healthy fats (from flax and nuts). Bake ahead for a terrific on-the-go weekday breakfast or anytime healthy snack that provides lasting energy and satisfies. Now you’re baking!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease muffin tins with non-stick spray (or coconut oil). In large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients:
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup oats
- 2 scoops vanilla protein powder,
- 4 Tbsp Ground FlaxSeed
- ½ cup chopped Pecans (or walnuts)
- 1-2 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1Tbsp baking powder
- ½ tbsp baking soda
- 4-5 packets of Truvia, or ~1-2 Tbsp Splenda brown sugar blend
In separate bowl combine wet ingredients:
- 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce (or diced up fresh apple)
- 1 Tbsp Flax seed oil
- ~ ½ – ¾ cup of Almond or Coconut milk (or lowfat milk)
- Honey (to taste)
Combine wet with dry ingredients. Don’t over mix. Fold in 1-1/2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries and spoon into muffin tins.
Bake for 15-19 minutes or until center is cooked (toothpick comes out clean). 12 muffins.
Healthy eating doesn’t really take any more time than unhealthy eating; it just requires a little more foresight.
Everybody has a story about when or why they gained weight, or why they have no time to eat right. When you’re constantly on the go, it can be hard to find time to eat, let alone eat healthy. So you turn to quick-fix foods that are high in fat, sugar, sodium, or calories, and low in essential nutrients. But eating is what gives us the energy to do everything on our to-do list. And when we are busy and “forget” to eat, or hurriedly rush into the nearest convenience store or hit up a vending machine for chips and a coke, we are not fueling bodies. So how do you find balance?
The solution isn’t to find more time, but to work with the schedule you do have. Instead of waiting in the fast food drive in line, use this time to visit the grocery store, and pick up prepared salads, sandwiches, and meats, pre-washed and cut fruits and vegetables, canned soups, low-calorie and low-fat frozen meals, yogurt, string cheese, and cereals.
To lose weight, and keep it off you must eliminate foods that aren’t healthy and eat foods that are good for your body. There is a strong correlation between how and what we eat and being well. People hold on to the illusion that there is no time to cook, no time to shop, and no healthy options for “fast food” meals. But just because there is no time to always sit down and eat, does not mean you have to eat poorly. What it boils down to is being prepared and carrying healthy snacks with you.
Here are some healthy tips to try:
- Cook a bigger batch of food on the weekends, and refrigerate or freeze for weekday lunches or dinners.
- Set an alarm for mealtimes. Even if you’re buried in work, don’t skip meals; designate a time to eat.
- Try not to do anything else while eating. Mindless consumption prevents the enjoyment of food. When that happens, people tend to eat more and eat unhealthy alternatives.
- Put fresh or dried fruit where you can see it to remind yourself of your goal to eat healthy. Bananas, grapes, and apples make handy and nutritious snack items.
- If at a restaurant, turn down the supersize option, and choose baked and broiled instead of fried.
- Order the lunch portion at dinnertime, and hold off on fatty condiments.
- Keep handy snacks around, such as fruits, dried fruits, nuts, seeds, trail mix, yogurt, cottage cheese, carrot or celery sticks, low sugar cereals, and wraps
Eggs are by far the fastest cooking protein you can get. Scrambling 2-3 eggs takes about 2 minutes. Sauté some spinach with a little garlic, or add some diced ham and cheese, and you have a healthy homemade meal in less than 10 minutes. This works for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Hard boil eggs take about 10 minutes. Boil extra, peel and place in Ziplocs and carry
with you for a quick protein snack or for breakfast on the run the next day.
Fresh fruit protein smoothies are also quick, nutritious and satisfying. They are so versatile… almost anything goes. And they travel well. 1 scoop of Whey adds approximately 25-30grms of muscle building protein for satiability. I recommend buying one of the many personal blenders on the market like the Ninja or Magic Bullet. Mix and go, in under 2 minutes.
Planning healthy meals and snacks ahead of time is especially crucial for people with junk food cravings. If you must have junk food, give the healthier alternatives, such as baked chips, dried fruit, or sugar-free Popsicles a try. Look for low-calorie, low-sugar, and low-fat options.
In place of chips, try light popcorn, whole grain crackers, carrot sticks, red peppers, and rice cakes.
For the sweet tooth, sugar-free pudding, sugar-free Jell-O, fruit bars, baked apple, fresh fruits, and dried fruits are options.
If you put your mind to it, you can come up with your own ideas for eating well with little cooking. It’s just a matter of wanting to find solutions.
Eat more Orange if you want to Live Longer… and I don’t mean Cheese Puffs.
Have you ever noticed that people with poor diets, eat foods that are mostly beige in color? Breads, pasta, french fries… If you are trying to improve your diet, adding color is where it’s at. Orange pigment in foods, for one, provides a significant nutritional kick and should be incorporated daily into your meal plans. Some of the healthiest foods to be found are sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin and other squash, mango, papaya, apricots, cantaloupe and oranges/tangerines.
These foods are usually colored by natural plant pigments called “carotenoids.” Beta-carotene in sweet potatoes, pumpkins and carrots is converted to vitamin A, which helps maintain
healthy mucous membranes and healthy eyes. Scientists consistently report that carotenoid-rich foods can help reduce risk of cancer, heart disease and improve immune system function. Recent studies have also shown that people who have large quantities of the antioxidant alpha-carotene in their blood (found chiefly in pumpkins and carrots) have a 61% lower risk of disease-related death. And carotenoid consumption protects against the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. Citrus fruits like oranges are not rich in carotenoids; however they are an excellent source of vitamin C and folate, a B vitamin that helps reduce risk of birth defects.
Sweet potatoes are one of the best orange foods. They contain huge amounts of beta-carotene, manganese, copper, fiber, B-6, potassium, iron…. that’s a lot of nutritional power packed into a small potato case!
Adding more orange to your diet is easy. The produce department carries a variety of orange foods year round. Fruits like pumpkin are not just for Halloween. Like the sweet potato, pumpkin is one of the most nutritionally dense foods you can get and is inexpensive and convenient in its canned form. High in fiber and low in calories, pumpkin is simple to incorporate into recipes, like muffins, pancakes, and breads.
Incorporating orange fruits and vegetables everyday is not difficult to do and will improve your overall health while keeping illness and disease at bay.
EASY ORANGE ADD-INS:
ü Sliced orange peppers to a sandwich or wrap
ü Baby carrots to a salad
ü Apricots with mixed nuts for a healthy snack mix.
ü Fresh Orange, Peach, and/or Mango, Vanilla protein and almond/soy milk for a delicious “Orange Dream” Smoothie.
ü Thinly slice or dice sweet potatoes, lightly toss in olive oil, and roast in 375 oven for a simple side dish.
Cut up cantaloupe, mix with cottage cheese or yogurt for breakfast, or snack.
On your next trip to the grocery, be sure to fill you cart with plenty of color; and don’t neglect the ORANGE.
Call it what you please… A true treat your body (and taste buds) will love.
I just call it delicious.
I was in the mood for some crab bisque but traditional crab chowders and soups are loaded with saturated fats and calories from a combination of whole milk, canned creamed soups, butter and then more heavy cream. With some very easy substitutions, I was able to prepare and enjoy a hearty, satisfying soup, without the excess calories.
The secret: thicken the soup with a little corn and whole wheat flour! And the best part: IT’S EASY TO DO and ready to eat in about 20 minutes.
I promise you will not miss all those calories and fat.
SHARI’S Tasty Crab Soup
- 1 cup diced red potatoes (cooked), skin on. (Use up leftovers or to save time, try Simply Potatoes)
- 2 green onions, diced
- ½-3/4 cup creamed corn
- 1 tbsp whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 tbsp butter
- 2-2 ½ cups reduced fat milk
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon cooking sherry
- Salt, generous pepper (white and black), thyme
- 16 oz lump crab meat
- Hot Sauce (Optional)
Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan. Sauté diced potatoes and green onions until slightly browned over a med heat. Add the flour, creamed corn and 1 tbsp of butter stirring constantly. This will thicken and make a nice roux. Reduce heat and gradually stir in the milk (1/2 cup at a time), the chicken broth, and spices. Heat and stir, to just before the point of boiling. Use a whisk if you prefer to prevent clumping and better blend the sauce.
Once all liquids have been added, stir in the crab meat and continue to stir. Heat all the way through until hot, but not bubbly, stirring frequently. Add sherry and hot sauce (if desired) just before serving.
I prefer my soup on the peppery side but adjust seasonings to your personal taste.
Quick fixes don’t exist for long-term health. Slow and steady wins this race.
We are creatures of habit. To make health-conscious changes, the changes have to fit in with our habits.
Have you ever changed, or tried to change, the way you eat? While you may want to change your diet, it can feel too hard and time-consuming. And when you are busy with work, family…life, there is just no time for added complication, right? But, it’s the New Year and you are making a promise to start (and stay) on a strict diet to lose weight, but are you just setting yourself up for more frustration and failure…again?
Shifting to healthier eating habits can seem complex. Nutritionists tell you, “Eat more vegetables; reduce your saturated fat; watch the sugar; buy organic; avoid trans fats; get enough calcium; eat low carb; high protein…” On and on it goes.
Little wonder most people put off changing their diet…or opt for trendy rapid weight loss plans.
You already know that commitment is crucial for success; so you consider one of the popular commercial diet programs that promise quick and easy results. This craving for instant gratification is why people gravitate to fad diets. Unfortunately, (and statistically); these plans don’t let you MAINTAIN weight loss. Once you “go off” the diet, and return to old ways, the bad habits return along with weight gain and associated health issues.
But no need to feel discouraged. Small, incremental changes are the key to success. Health altering changes simply involve re-education to meal options that promote consistency while keeping your body filled with nutrition. It is more a mind-shift and a behavior change, not a diet. Learn to change the behavior you are used to and focus on building habits of living that improve your life.
Shift your attitude to viewing food as a fuel to sustain life and not something that controls your quality of life. We all have different body compositions, likes and dislikes, and finding success in making healthy lifestyle changes is a process that will take a little time and experimentation. Start with small steps and before you know it, the small changes add up to become part of a healthy new lifestyle. For example, when you wake up tomorrow instead of skipping breakfast, eat a small meal consisting of healthy carbs, protein and a little fat. Do this for a week. Once this works for you with little effort, it will be time to make another small change.
Eat Real Food (and less of it)
No matter what diet you follow, make sure most of it comes from food without bar codes. Whole foods, with minimal processing and preservatives are best. Concentrate most of your shopping time around the perimeter of your grocery store. Chances are the fresh produce, whole grain breads, meat and seafood departments, and dairy cases are around the perimeter of the store. Then dip into the isles for staples, like oatmeal and olive oil. And you don’t need nearly as many calories as you think you do. Most women will lose weight (or maintain it) on 1,250-1,600 calories and most men between 1,500-2,000. Cutting calories by about one-third is also one of the best strategies for living longer.
Suggestions for the New Year / and a Healthier New You:
- eat more fruit and vegetables
- have a better awareness of your eating patterns and how to make your diet work for you
- try some different foods and increase the variety in your diet
- be on the way to controlling hunger and the portions you eat
- work out some strategies for eating well when you’re busy
Follow these eight rules of eating, and you’ll more easily manage your weight and improve your nutrition From YOU: The Owners Manual by RealAge experts Micael F. Roizen, MD and Mehmet C. Oz, MD.