We’d love an opportunity to thank and appreciate you as part of our Passion Barre tribe –
So join us on Friday, September 22 at 7PM, for a free and fun Roll & Release open house workshop – relieve stress, roll out tension, and release fascia around the muscles. PLUS, enjoy free sample massages & go home with your own free Essential oil blend – (Mmm, exhale)!

ON FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 at 7PM
-Discover several areas in your body that can benefit from a roller ball gravity massage

PLUS
-Get pampered with mini massages!
-Enjoy a gift from us – craft and go home with your own personal purse sized blend as you learn about the powerful and healing qualities of plant based medicine through Essential Oils and Aromatherapy.
-Get inspired in your journey of transformation learning from key guests making a difference in their world
-Bring a guest and they get a chance to win an introductory package to Passion Barre!
Have them RSVP below

And remember to RSVP yourself, space is limited and this workshop always fills up quickly 😉

Doors open at 6:45PM

 


B.T.Dubs. If you haven’t had a chance to try our Passion Barre classes yet, we’d love to host you! Freedom and the sweet after burn has been spreading like a wildfire since we introduced Rancho Cucamonga to the barre! You have the option to try 3 Classes for $33 or 2 weeks of unlimited classes for $49! We match attendance points with donations to our partners who rescue women and children from human trafficking, so click here to reserve!
In Southern California, we serve Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Fontana, Ontario, Claremont, Montclair, Corona, Eastvale, Mira Loma, Riverside, Pomona and other surrounding cities. See you at the Barre 😉

Weight loss myths (in the form of advice) are so common (and contentious) now!
And these opinions, which are constantly in competition with one another, are everywhere.
So let’s just forget about who is right, and focus on what is right. What gets you and I results is what we’re going to focus on in this post.

We respect you and your potential too much to make empty promises and sell you on things that simply don’t work.
And because there are quite a few weight loss myths out there, I’ll share just a few and simple to debunk theories that I’ve come across in my years of practice.

Myth: “Calories are the cause of weight gain, therefore fewer calories cause weight loss”

Calories are important for weight loss. If you eat and absorb a ton more than you use, then your body’s wisdom will store some for later. Calories do matter.

But, they are not the “end-all and be-all” of weight loss. They’re important, but they’re the symptom, not the cause. Let’s think about the reasons people eat more calories. Let’s focus on the causes.

People eat too many calories, not because they’re hungry, but because they feel sad, lonely, or bored. Or maybe because they’re tired or stressed. Or maybe even because they’re happy and celebrating.  And all these feelings interact with our gastrointestinal, nervous and hormonal systems; all of which influence our calorie intake. Calories also have differing qualities and that too will influence our body’s response.

Myth: “Eat less, move more”

Well, then we must all in be in great shape, right? I mean people have been giving out this myth (in the form of advice) for years.

The premise of this is based on the above myth that calories in minus calories out equals your weight. So, eat fewer calories, and burn off more calories (because human physiology is a simple math equation, right?). No.

Also, a very close relative of this myth is also the “It doesn’t matter what I eat as long as I just “work it off” myth. 
Even if people can happily and sustainably follow this advice (which they can’t); it completely negates other factors that contribute to weight problems. Things like the causes of overeating we mentioned above. The quality of the food. And not to mention our genetics; pre-existing health conditions; or our exposure to toxins and compounds that are “obesogenic.”

Myth: “A calorie is a calorie”

Can we just knock this one off already?

Research confirms that several caloric components of food differ from others. For example, the “thermic effect of food” (TEF) is that some nutrients require calories to be metabolized. They can slightly increase your metabolism, just by eating them.

For instance, when you metabolize protein you basically burn more calories than when you metabolize carbohydrates. Proteins and carbohydrates both have 4 calories/gram; but, the TEF of protein = 15–30%; and the TEF for carbohydrates = 5–10%.

Here’s another instance in which a calorie is not a calorie. Different fats are metabolized differently as well. Medium chain triglycerides (fatty acids/fat), that is, MCTs have the same 9 calories/gram that other fats do; but, they’re metabolized by the liver before getting into the bloodstream and therefore aren’t utilized or stored the same way as other fats.
#acalorieisnotacalorie

Myth: “Buy this one and only magic supplement/tea/food/potion to lose weight”

There isn’t one magic pill for weight loss. No supplement, tea, food, or other potion will do the trick all by itself.

There are products that make these claims, and they’re full of garbage (or shall I say “marketing gold?”). The things you will lose are your money, maybe a little weight for a little time and possibly your health and hope. Please don’t buy into this myth. It insults your potential and self respect you gain from actually growing and applying long lasting principles. There is a reason most people who lose weight can’t keep it off. The real magic is in adopting a sustainable holistic and healthy approach to living your life. What you need is a long-term lifestyle makeover, not a product.

So in Conclusion:
Weight loss can be difficult indeed! And there are so many trying to make it seem like they have the only solution or the latest and greatest. However, there are solutions that we’re here to support you with as you commit to a lifestyle plan.

Once again, don’t fall for these myths saying:

  • Calories cause weight gain, and fewer calories are the path to weight loss.
  • Eat less, move more.
  • A calorie is a calorie.
  • Buy this one “magic,” one and only supplement/tea/food/potion to lose weight.

Okay, now check out this magical “weight loss salad” recipe below (I know, I know – just kidding!)

RECIPE: Kale Cucumber Salad

Myth-free, nutritious and filling

Serves 2
Ingredients:
Salad:
4 Cups, Kale, divided
1 Cup, cooked beans of your choice (white beans, chickpeas, etc.)
1 Cup, cooked quinoa, divided
1 Cucumber, sliced and divided

Cucumber Dill Dressing:
½ Cup, Tahini
½ Lemon, juiced
2 Tbsp, Dill
½ Cup, Cucumber, chopped
1 Green Onion, chopped
½ Tsp, Maple syrup
2 Dashes, salt
2 Dashes, Black pepper
¼ Tsp, Garlic, minced

Instructions:
-Divide salad ingredients into two bowls.
-Add all dressing ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until creamy. You may need to add water to thin. Add it slowly, a tbsp at a time until desired thickness is reached.
-Add dressing to salads and gently toss.

Serve & enjoy!

Tip:
Any extra dressing can be stored in your fridge for a few days


References:
https://authoritynutrition.com/top-12-biggest-myths-about-weight-loss/
https://authoritynutrition.com/metabolism-boosting-foods/
https://authoritynutrition.com/5-chemicals-that-are-making-you-fat/


B.T.Dubs. If you haven’t had a chance to try our Passion Barre classes yet, we’d love to host you! Freedom and the sweet after burn has been spreading like a wildfire since we introduced Rancho Cucamonga to the barre! Your first trial class is only $15, or you have the option to try 3 Classes for $33. We match attendance points with donations to our partners who rescue women and children from human trafficking, so click here to reserve!
In Southern California, we serve Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Fontana, Ontario, Claremont, Montclair, Corona, Eastvale, Mira Loma, Riverside, Pomona and other surrounding cities. See you at the Barre 😉

What are digestive enzymes?

In the technical sense, enzymes are compounds that help critical biochemical reactions to happen in your body. These reactions can be anything, from making neurotransmitters like serotonin, to burning food for energy, to breaking down food we eat into smaller pieces that our guts can absorb.

And you’ll notice they all end with “ase”.

As I just hinted, “digestive enzymes” are specifically those enzymes we use for digestion. They’re enzymes that our digestive system naturally makes and secretes when we eat.

Now, all of the “macronutrients” we eat (carbs, protein & fat) need to be broken down into their individual (smaller) parts so that we can properly absorb and digest them. They’re just too big otherwise, and if we don’t absorb them properly, we can get symptoms of fatigue, malnutrition, digestive distress, obesity, or a host of other symptoms.

It is these individual (smaller) parts that our body amazingly rearranges and uses to create other larger molecules that our body needs.

The most common digestive enzymes you’ll see on product labels are:

  • Amylase – Helps to break down starch into its sugars.
  • alpha-Galactosidase – Helps to break down specific “fermentable carbohydrates” into its sugars.
  • Lactase – Helps to break down lactose into its sugars.
  • Protease – Helps to break down protein into its amino acids.
  • Bromelain and/or Papain – Help to break down protein into its amino acids, helps to aid relaxation and reduce inflammation. (Pineapples contain a lot of Bromelain, and that’s why it’s a sweet favorite in any of my green electrolyte smoothies).
  • Lipase – Helps to break down fats into its lipids.
A little learning

Not everyone should be taking digestive enzyme supplements; and not all of them are created equal.

As a practitioner, I find that many people with digestive issues want to jump straight into using a supplement. And many times I would rather try other strategies first. Not to mention, that some supplements can be harmful if used inappropriately.

So, let’s dive into a few of the common digestive enzymes, what they do, and who should NOT take them.

So who should consider taking digestive enzymes?

I would always recommend that you see a qualified health care practitioner for an expert opinion on whether your issues can be related to digestion, and which, if any, supplements can help you.

In general, the most common digestive symptoms that enzymes may help with are bloating, cramping, and/or diarrhea. Particularly if it happens after eating certain foods (think lactose-intolerance symptoms after eating dairy). And in general, a better digestive system aids plenty in the metabolic process, hormone balance and weight loss.

One reason for these symptoms can be that food particles are not broken down properly, and the larger pieces travel further down the digestive tract to the microbiota where those little critters start breaking them down themselves. And this is definitely troublesome for certain people.

Don’t get me wrong, a healthy gut microbiota is absolutely essential for good health. And more and more research is showing just how it can affect not only our digestion, but also our immune system, and even our moods.

What do I need to know? – Medical conditions

Of course, you should read the label of any products you take, and take them as directed, especially if they’re not specifically recommended for you by your health care practitioner who knows your history.

Here are two critical things to be aware of:

1 – Digestive enzymes that break down carbohydrates into sugars are not recommended for diabetics, or pregnant/breastfeeding women.
This is because taking them breaks down more carbohydrates into sugars than your body normally would; so, anyone at risk of blood sugar issues should take caution.

2 – When it comes to enzymes that break down proteins into amino acids, there are a few people who should avoid them because of potential interactions. That is if you have an ulcer, or are taking blood-thinners or anti-inflammatories, or if you’re having surgery.

The reason is because the digestive enzymes that break down protein are thought to cause or worsen ulcers, as well as have the ability to “thin” the blood and prevent normal clotting.

What do I need to know? – Possible side effects

Using digestive enzyme supplements for a prolonged period of time may well justify an appointment with a knowledgeable practitioner. There may be strategies other than daily supplementation that can serve you better.

If you find that your symptoms get worse, or even if they don’t get better, you should probably stop using them.

Allergies are always a possiblity, so if you know or suspect you’re allergic, then you should avoid them.

And, as always, keep supplements away from children.

Before considering a digestive enzyme supplement

You shouldn’t just jump to supplementing with digestive enzymes without a proper diagnosis, or trying a few strategies first.

My first recommendation for digestive distress would be to relax more, eat slower, and chew more thoroughly. This helps to break down food and can put less stress on your digestive tract.

The second step would be to try eliminating certain troublesome foods from your diet (dairy & gluten, for example) and see if that helps.

Summary:

While many supplements are safe products, they’re not all for everyone.

I recommend that you:

  • Read your labels carefully (who should take them, how to take them, when to stop taking them).
  • If you have a medical condition or are taking medications speak with your physician or pharmacist.
  • If you want expert advice on whether a specific supplement is for you, speak with a qualified health care practitioner.

RECIPE: Tropic Digestion Smoothie

Digestive Support Food with Bromelain and Papain

Serves 1
Ingredients:

1 cup pineapple, diced

1 cup papaya, diced

1 banana, chopped

1 cup coconut milk

Ice, if desired

Instructions:

Put all ingredients (except ice) into the blender and blend. Add ice if desired.

Tip:

The levels of enzymes in whole pineapple and papaya aren’t as concentrated as taking them in a supplement; so if you’re not allergic to these delicious fruits, you can try this smoothie.


References:
https://www.dietvsdisease.org/digestive-enzyme-supplements/

http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=514&lang=eng

http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=516&lang=eng

http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=196&lang=eng

http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=508&lang=eng

http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=515&lang=eng

Natural Medicines Database, Bromelain, Papain, Retrieved January 21, 2017 from

https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com

 


B.T.Dubs. If you haven’t had a chance to try our Passion Barre classes yet, we’d love to host you! Freedom and the sweet after burn has been spreading like a wildfire since we introduced Rancho Cucamonga to the barre! Your first trial class is only $15, or you have the option to try 3 Classes for $33. We match attendance points with donations to our partners who rescue women and children from human trafficking, so click here to reserve!
In Southern California, we serve Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Fontana, Ontario, Claremont, Montclair, Corona, Eastvale, Mira Loma, Riverside, Pomona and other surrounding cities. See you at the Barre 😉

You’ll want to snag these fabulous weight loss snacks!

Do the words “tasteless,” “cardboard,” and “completely unsatisfying,” still come up when you think of healthy weight loss snacks or food in general? Haha! It’s true that words like “weight loss” and “snacks” do come up frequently in the same sentences, but it’s time to restore the true meaning of these words!

Allow me to introduce to you some snacks that are super efficient in helping you lose weight and are still yummy. I seriously believe food is first meant to be delicious and enjoyable. Healthy food has just gotten a really bad rap while the counterfeits to real food seem like the all we have left to run back to (I’ll rant on that elsewhere)!

So you have an idea of my initial criteria, but what are the others?

They have to be nutrient-dense whole/real foods where a little goes a long way; foods that contain protein and/or fibre.

Snack #1 Fresh Fruits

Research has shown that those who include more fruit i their diet enjoy better health (no surprise there!)

Although fruits have sugar, real whole fruits (not juice or dried and sweetened) come complete with fiber, water, enzymes as well as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants making the nutritional content great and naturally recognizable by your body for nutrient absorption, fueling for energy and digestion. Fresh fruits are also low-calorie.

Fiber will not only help in filling you up (“satiety”) but it will also manage and slow down the sugar release into your bloodstream. This will help in reducing the problematic spike in blood sugar.

There is plethora of fruit provided for us in nature and while you can enjoy them all, berries are among the fantastic in the superfood and fat-burning ranking. They go well with nuts 😉 Think hunter-gatherer style.

Tip: Regular, unsweetened frozen fruits are also an option for your fruit intake

Snack #2 – Nuts

Have you heard a lot about nuts having a lot calories and fat? It’s quite true, however they do not make you fat! Presuming we’re not talking about nuts with added processed sugars, salted, or of the honey roasted varieties – as those could probably make you fat.

And as with fruits, studies have also shown that those who include nuts in their snacks and meals tend to have a leaner physique and enjoy better health”

And also, because nuts are dense with not only fiber but protein, a little amount will go a long way in filling you up as well. They are nutrient dense as with vitamins and minerals.

Were you are that because almonds help in boosting your metabolism; is nutrient dense; and because 10% of the fat found in almonds is not absorbed by the body it is known to help you lose weight? I have them almost every day!

Tip: Get a handful of raw unsalted/unsweetened nuts into a bag or small container and toss it in your bag or purse.

Snack #3 – Chia Seeds

Chia is top in my list of favorites!

This very high fibre, nutrient-dense, seed contains protein and omega-3 fatty acids! It puts the super in superfood!

I mean when you find a simple whole food with Omega-3 and all these other essentials, I would eat it very often! Chia also provides you with antioxidants, calcium, and magnesium!

They uniquely great in hydrating as they soak up quite a bit of liquids when you let them sit for about 30 minutes or store them in water (or kombucha, kefir, real apple cider vinegar). Soaking them first is great to release it’s nutrient density and keep you from having to deal with phytic acids (the protective layer around seeds) and anti-nutrients. It makes a thick pudding when well soaked and that’ll really fill you up. I like to soak mine in some Kefir with coconut flakes and fruit. The fermented kefir also goes a long way in breaking down the Chia for digestion.

Tip: Add two tablespoons of Chia seeds in a cup with half a cup of nut milk or kefir and wait a few minutes. Add berries, nuts, and/or chopped fruit and even cinnamon and enjoy!

Snack #4 Boiled or Poached Eggs

As I’ve shared in so many other places, eggs are nutrient packed, with much of the nutrient coming from the yolk.

Eggs are also high-quality protein with vitamins and minerals. In our home, we call them protein bullets or protein balls!

Now you might be wondering about all that cholesterol talk. Well, recent, updated studies show that the cholesterol egg yolks is NOT linked to high cholesterol or an increase in the risk of heart disease!

Yes, you really read that right and that should set you free!

Tip: Keep a bunch of eggs boiled and in your fridge, ready to go, for a complete and nutritious snack! them in your fridge for a super-quick (and nutritious) snack!

Snack #5 Vegetables

Going beyond cliché knowledge, I’m sure you already know how great vegetables are for you. But how often do you think of them as snacks? Delicious and nutrient packed, let me build your excitement on why you need to include the min your snacks to go!

Veggies are great, containing fiber and hydrations power as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Do you see the consistent nutrient theme i hall these snack ideas?

So from chopped or baby carrots to cherry tomatoes and celery sticks that are already snack sized – rinse them easily and have them ready to go.

Tip: Have you tried almond butter with celery? Use dipping power for your veggies! Give my hummus recipe below a try!

Summary:
Take charge of your health and weight-loss goal and getting into healthy snacking. Prepare them the night or even the week before. Take my word for it – you’ll forget the words “tasteless,” like “cardboard,” or “completely unsatisfying” as your taste buds and you body start enjoying the distinct flavors and nutrient benefits.

RECIPE: Hummus

Vegetable Dip

Makes approximately 2 Cups
Ingredients:
1  can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained & rinsed
⅓ Cup, Tahini
1 Garlic Clove
2 Tbsp, Sesame Oil
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Dash, Salt
1 Dash, pepper

Instructions:
1. Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. You may need to thin it out with a bit of water, so add it 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time and blend.

Tip:
Don’t like sesame? Use an avocado in place of the tahini, and olive oil in place of the sesame oil.


References:
https://authoritynutrition.com/20-most-weight-loss-friendly-foods/
https://authoritynutrition.com/foods/almonds/
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/encyclopedia/food/almonds/
https://authoritynutrition.com/is-fruit-good-or-bad-for-your-health/
https://authoritynutrition.com/foods/apples/
https://authoritynutrition.com/fresh-vs-frozen-fruit-and-vegetables/
https://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds/
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/encyclopedia/food/eggs/
Image by By Peaksel (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Image by Ivanna9867 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 


B.T.Dubs. If you haven’t had a chance to try our Passion Barre classes yet, we’d love to host you! Freedom and the sweet after burn has been spreading like a wildfire since we introduced Rancho Cucamonga to the barre! Your first trial class is only $15, or you have the option to try 3 Classes for $33. We match attendance points with donations to our partners who rescue women and children from human trafficking, so click here to reserve!
In Southern California, we serve Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Fontana, Ontario, Claremont, Montclair, Corona, Eastvale, Mira Loma, Riverside, Pomona and other surrounding cities. See you at the Barre 😉

We know that a major factor in maintaining a healthy weight is your nutrition – but does it seem like you’re gaining more weight even though you haven’t changed anything in your diet?

As in you are completely certain that you haven’t given in to overeating or eating junky food, yet you’re still getting fatter?

How is that even possible, right? Oh it’s possible, but you’re not alone, and you’re certainly not losing your mind!

And there a a few reasons why:
We’re finally accepting that the concept of calories in vs calories out is way too simplistic when dealing with the issue of weight, and there’s more to the story of just the amount of food you’re eating versus what you’re working off.

What really comes into play here is that your metabolic rate is affected by things like your level of activity, food intake/quality history, body type/composition, and of course, what you eat.

So we’ll move ahead of the simplistic “eat less and exercise more” advice and learn more about underlying and powerfully subtle reasons why you may be gaining fat even though your eating habits are the same: aging process, hormones, sleep, stress.

Reason #1 The process of aging

I say “the process” because I don’t want you to “pick a number” and blame it. Obvious signs of aging can begin sooner or later depending on the support and investment into health and activity levels, right from our youth. So, interesting things can happen as we get older – energy levels may get lower than before, others may experience digestive discomfort, an increase in weight as well as here and there aches and pains.

This process can also result in changes in hormonal activity for both men and women – so all these could be a major cause of increased fat storage in and decrease in lean muscle mass. 

Understand that this happens a lot and there’s no need to feel blame or at fault at all! What’s important as we grow older is to recognize that it is an inevitable blessing (otherwise we would die young) and to focus on the several benefits of getting older as well and set your eyes on what you CAN actually do to support the aging process now.

Reason #2 Hormones

Since your thyroid is the key factor in controlling your metabolism, it can be a huge contributing factor to your gaining weight. And several things could affect it and throw it off balance.

If things get off balance with your hormones, causing it produce less, it affects your metabolism, causing it “slow down” in lay man’s terms. That of course, will cause you to gain weight even though you’re eating the same way you always have.

Expert Tip: Discuss getting your hormones tested with your doctor, and of course, try the thyroid-friendly recipe I included for you at the end of this scoop.

Reason #3 Sleep

Have you heard about all the research showing the effect sleep has on your metabolic rate? There is a lot of discoveries out there supporting this. The lack of sleep is connected with getting fatter!

And in general, getting a good nights sleep can become more difficult as we age so then we can see why one could gain weight as they get older and age.

Sleep needs differ from person to person, but  at the very least, getting between 7-9 hours of sleep every night is generally recommended to help avoid weight gain.

Did you ever think you could sleep off your weight?!

Expert Tip: Start with getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night. Implement a calming pre bedtime sleep routine to get you relaxed and prepared for quality sleep.

Reason #4 Stress

We’re all admitting it and it seems to be everywhere, but we’re not doing anything or enough about it! Stress is not to be messed around with and is not a cliche when it’s called a silent killer!

There are several things that can cause stress responses in your body – and in this context, stress hormones will not help you sustain a healthy weight or healthy habits.

Get rid of stressors (there are more areas that we can, but are sometimes afraid to, which is another stressor); and if you just can’t change your stressors you can change your response to them. And that in itself is the most powerful strategy.

Expert Tip: Try prayer and reflection. Even mindful eating and mindful activities will be helpful to stave off the overstimulation, multi tasking and mental disconnect we’ve become so used to in our society. Have you tried those adult coloring books I mentioned to you in my last post, that they’re all raving about now?

Summary:
Several factors affect your weight, even though you may have maintained the same eating habits. The process of aging, hormones, stress, and sleep are all interconnected to each other, which will contribute to weight gain in spite of having the same diet.

RECIPE: Sushi Inspired Seaweed Bowl

Thyroid-Friendly Food Based Iodine

Serves 2
Ingredients:
1 Cup, Cooked Rice
1 Avocado (thinly sliced)
½ Cucumber (diced)
½ Red Pepper (thinly sliced)
1 Green Onion (chopped)
2 Tablespoons Dried Seaweed (arame, wakame, or crumbled nori sheets)
2 Tablespoons, Sesame Seeds
3 Tablespoons, Rice Vinegar
3 Tablespoons, Gluten-Free Tamari Sauce
1 Tablespoon, Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon, Sesame Oil
½ Garlic Clove
A dash of Salt and pepper

Instructions:

-Split the first seven ingredients into two bowls.
-Mix the rest of the ingredients together to make the dressing.
-Pour the dressing over the sushi bowls.

Serve & Enjoy!

Tip:
This is a great lunch to take on the go.  Keep dressing in a separate container so you can give it a shake before adding it onto the sushi bowl.


References:

https://authoritynutrition.com/lose-weight-in-menopause/
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/sleep-stress-and-fat-loss
Image by Berthold Werner (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


B.T.Dubs. If you haven’t had a chance to try our Passion Barre classes yet, we’d love to host you! Freedom and the sweet after burn has been spreading like a wildfire since we introduced Rancho Cucamonga to the barre! Your first trial class is only $15, or you have the option to try 3 Classes for $33. We match attendance points with donations to our partners who rescue women and children from human trafficking, so click here to reserve!
In Southern California, we serve Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Fontana, Ontario, Claremont, Montclair, Corona, Eastvale, Mira Loma, Riverside, Pomona and other surrounding cities. See you at the Barre 😉

 

Menopausal women – enjoy these tips before you take those prescriptions

Menopause is a stage deserving celebration just like puberty and other cycles of life. Of course, like all stages, it may be accompanied by mild to extreme discomfort or symptoms. Sometimes, these extreme symptoms for menopausal women are caused moreso from built up dietary and lifestyle choices than the menopause in itself. But “Menopause” just takes the rap for it, unfortunately.

We know that what you eat and how you move can make a HUGE improvement in some of the symptoms accompanying menopause. Not to mention how common it is for ladies to gain weight during this period. (Grr!)

We also know that eating better and moving more can help you stave off other issues like heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. So we’re going to look at seven strong strategies that I recommend to help you eat better and improve the way you move; to help reduce menopausal symptoms and other issues:

So first, listen to what your body is saying. For some, you may need to get to know your body all over again.

And of course, listen to what your physician suggests.

Tip #1 Boost You Water Intake

Drink more water. Really. Wait, don’t scan so quickly. You might have heard it before and it’s on the list of what you “already know.” But have you practiced it enough to enjoy the benefits?

The general consensus is to drink 8-10 glasses per day, but mores half of your body weight in ounces. And, if you don’t feel you need that much you definitely need to at least drink enough throughout the day so that you’re not thirsty – hopefully you still experience the feeling of “thirst.”

I know that’s easy to say but really it’s also easy to do.

Try having a full glass first thing in the morning before you eat or drink anything. Remember that a full glass is usually already two measured 8 ounce cups.

If you don’t like plain water, squeeze in some lemon, add a spoon of raw, organic apple cider vinegar; or add in some berries or chopped frozen fruit.

If prefer tea and herbs, that’s perfect! Simply steep some sliced lemon and/or ginger or your favorite caffeine-free herbal teabag. This, unlike several other “beverages” counts towards hydration.

I suggest keeping a large bottle or mug with you all day wherever you work so it’s always easy to grab and have sips throughout the day to make sure you’re not getting thirsty. Sometimes I simply split my hydration moments into 3-4 times a day along with meals, working with fun cups and bottles (I have a thing for them) that are no less than 24 ounces so that I can be aware of when my bathroom breaks will come up.

Second – Increase intake of real plant foods

Things like (yes, you guessed it) green, leafy, vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds. And I mean increase in major quantities here. Include them in every meal and most of your snacks.

Would you like another major reason to eat more plants?

Plant-based diets and lifestyles are associated with fewer hot flashes. Bam!

You’ll enjoy the recipe below as an “excuse-free” solution to getting more vegetables everywhere you go.

Tip #3 – High-quality proteins too!

As you add in your green, leafy vegetables and other plant based foods, remember to include good quality protein (and healthy fats) from eggs, fish, meat, nuts and seeds (and their butters).

With animal based foods, aim for quality; so try to get organic, wild, and/or pasture-raised as much as you can.

Tip #4 Cut back on these

Reducing and/or eliminating alcohol, caffeine and processed foods can have a tremendous impact on balancing your hormones naturally without the help of pharmaceutical medications.

What you do every day always matters the most! So with these increases in water intake, real plant based foods, and quality protein, you just won’t have as much room or desire for alcohol, caffeine, and processed foods with added processed sodium and refined sugar. That will revolutionize the way you feel!

Tip #5 Get Moving

Have you heard the saying that the “best exercise” is the one you will actually do? If you’re not regularly moving already, it is crucially important that you start now. Moving at least 30 minutes a day will put you at just 3.5 hours a week and over time you can increase that to 7 hours a week. You will always look back and thank yourself!

To start moving include activities like daily walking (especially outdoors in the sun, if possible), cardio blasts, strength training and stretching.

Tip # 6 – Get more than enough Sleep: 

I say more than enough because what too many consider to be “enough” is simply “not enough” and it’s chipping away at their health and life span. Seriously, you need 7-9 hours each night!

And a times, menopause can introduce sleep problems. Or rather, you may simply need more sleep once you get into menopause.

A very important strategy is to create a daily routine where you’re relaxed away from visible screens (devices like televisions, tablets, computers, cell phones etc) before your bedtime. Screen devices emit strong blue light which could prevent the release of melatonin, your sleep hormone. Try reading a book, some easy listening or soft white noise, or having a bath. It’s also important to have dim lights and preferably a completely dark room to reduce your exposure to blue light before bed. As regular indoor lighting is usually “blue light” using amber or red lights as you start to “set the mood for sleep” would be ideal. Hey you could even style some “blue-blocker” sunglasses.

Tip #7 Get into great stress relieving activities:

The choices are many, therefore do what floats your boat! Just be sure to do it regularly so that it is actually a significant measure to ward of built up stress.

Have you tried reflecting, deep breathing, or soaking yourself in a warm bath? And how about the curious new fad of painting and coloring?

Of course, you get extra credit and extra benefits when you use movement/working out as a form of stress relief.

Summary:

You now have an arsenal of great ideas to stave off those menopause symptoms naturally.

Now go ahead and make two of these mason jar salads to eliminate any excuse of not being able to get fresh veggies when you’re out and about.

RECIPE: Mason Jar Salad

Vegetables

Serves 2
Ingredients:
3 Tablespoons Almond Butter
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
2 Teaspoons Sesame oil
½ Granny Smith Apple (diced)
4 Radishes (sliced)
2 Celery stalks (diced)
4 Tablespoons of your favorite nuts or seeds (walnuts, slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
4-6 Cups of your favorite greens (spinach, kale, mixed greens, etc.)

Instructions:
-Add first four ingredients to a small bowl & whisk until smooth.
-Add apple to dressing (so it’s covered and won’t brown) and divide between two mason jars.
-Layer the radishes, celery, nuts/seeds, and greens on top and seal.
-When ready to eat shake up the jar, open and enjoy or pour it into a large bowl to mix more thoroughly.

Tip:
Wide-mouth jars work best for this ah-mazing way to bring veggies with you wherever you go!


References:
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-menopause
https://authoritynutrition.com/11-natural-menopause-tips/
https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/menopause-time-change/what-can-you-do-hot-flashes-and-other-menopausal-symptoms
Image by By Peaksel (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons


B.T.Dubs. If you haven’t had a chance to try our Passion Barre classes yet, we’d love to host you! Freedom and the sweet after burn has been spreading like a wildfire since we introduced Rancho Cucamonga to the barre! Your first trial class is only $15, or you have the option to try 3 Classes for $33. We match attendance points with donations to our partners who rescue women and children from human trafficking, so click here to reserve!
In Southern California, we serve Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Fontana, Ontario, Claremont, Montclair, Corona, Eastvale, Mira Loma, Riverside, Pomona and other surrounding cities. See you at the Barre 😉

Maybe you love your breakfast and have your go to list of breakfast foods; or maybe you need some motivation to start eating breakfast again? Well here are some great strategies to make sure you’re getting what’s truly important out of what has been touted as the most important meal of the day.

Unknown to still too many – adding a substantial amount of protein at each meal can help with blood sugar management, metabolism and weight loss. The reason being that protein grants satiety (feeling full) longer and puts to use (burns) a lot of calories to absorb and metabolize the same protein. So I’m going to share some tips on how your can get the protein, as well as vegetables and healthy fats for your new and hopefully favorite list of breakfasts foods.

Top Breakfast Food #1: Eggs

Eggs really do reign as breakfast foods, ad for good reason!

But to clarify first – I’m not speaking about those “egg” white in a carton. I mean singing about real ,actual actual whole eggs that come in a shell and all.

Egg whites are mostly protein while the yolks are the real nutritional powerhouses. Those yolks contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats.

Eggs have been shown to help you feel full, keep you feeling fuller longer, and help to stabilize blood sugar and insulin.

Not to mention how easy it is to boil a bunch of eggs and keep them in the fridge for a “grab and go” protein “bullet” breakfast when you’re running short on time.

Also, to calm your “fears” –  the cholesterol in eggs is not associated with an increased risk of arterial or heart diseases.

One thing to consider is to try to prevent cooking the yolks at too high of a temperature because that can cause some of the cholesterol to become oxidized. It’s the oxidized cholesterol that’sunhealthy for the heart.

Top Breakfast Food #2: Nuts and/or Seeds

Nuts and seeds contain protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Nuts and/or seeds would make a great contribution to breakfast.

You won’t be fooled by “candied” nuts, sweetened nut/seed butters, or chia “cereals” with added sugars – you know I’m talking about the real, whole, unsweetened food here.

Nuts and seeds are also the ultimate fast food if you’re running late in the mornings.  Grab a small handful of almonds, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds as you’re running out the door; you can nosh on them while you’re commuting.

Not to mention how easy it is to add a spoonful of nut/seed butter into your morning breakfast smoothie.

Hint: If you like a creamy latte in the mornings try making one with nut or seed butter.  Just add your regular hot tea and a tablespoon or two of a creamy nut or seed butter into your blender & blend until frothy.

Top Breakfast Food #3: Vegetables

Yes, you already know you really should get protein at every meal including breakfast; but this also applies to veggies.  You know I would be remiss to not recommend veggies at every meal, right?

Veggies are powerhouses of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber, and water.  You can’t go wrong adding them into every single meal of the day so if you don’t already you should definitely try them for breakfast!

And of course not – you don’t need to have a salad or roasted vegetable for breakfast if you don’t want to but you really can!  You wouldn’t be breaking any “official” breakfast rules.

Add some protein to your leftover vegetables to make a great combination for any meal, including breakfast.

Included below is a delicious recipe for you to try or customize for your next breakfast.

RECIPE: Veg-Melet

Eggs and Vegetables

Serves 1
Ingredients:
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 or 2 eggs
¼ cup vegetables (grated zucchini and/or sliced mushrooms and/or diced peppers)
A dash of salt, pepper and turmeric
Instructions:
-Add coconut oil to a frying pan and melt on low-medium heat (cast-iron pans, preferably).
-While the oil is heating up, grab a bowl and beat the eggs with your vegetables and spices.
-Tilt pan all over to ensure the bottom is well covered with the melted oil. Pour the egg mixture into pan and lightly fry the eggs without stirring.
-When the bottom is lightly done flip over in one side and cook until the egg white is no longer runny.

Serve and Enjoy!

Tip:
Substitute grated, sliced, or diced portions of your favourite vegetable. Try grated carrots, chopped broccoli or diced tomatoes


References:
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/eggs-worse-than-fast-food
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/encyclopedia/food/eggs/
https://authoritynutrition.com/eating-healthy-eggs/
https://authoritynutrition.com/12-best-foods-to-eat-in-morning/
Image by By Smastronardo (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons


B.T.Dubs. If you haven’t had a chance to try our Passion Barre classes yet, we’d love to host you! Freedom and the sweet after burn has been spreading like a wildfire since we introduced Rancho Cucamonga to the barre! Your first trial class is only $15, or you have the option to try 3 Classes for $33. We match attendance points with donations to our partners who rescue women and children from human trafficking, so click here to reserve!
In Southern California, we serve Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Fontana, Ontario, Claremont, Montclair, Corona, Eastvale, Mira Loma, Riverside, Pomona and other surrounding cities. See you at the Barre 😉

Losing strength?

You’ll find this hormone will help you or some of our men regain strength!

It’s the hormone that helps you build muscle… naturally. Testosterone, that is. And what I’m about to share with is not going to suggest taking anabolic steroid hormones or things of that sort that people often think of when it comes to building buff bodies!

Rather, I’ll get into a couple of solid strategies on boosting this hormone level in a natural way with food based supplements!

Strategy #1: Get enough zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral that helps with a number of processes in your body (it helps over 300 enzymes). Zinc helps your immune system, helps to produce critical proteins and DNA, and also helps with wound healing. Enough zinc is necessary to maintain healthy skin and for optimal ability to taste and smell. Zinc is an antioxidant and can be supplemented to support optimal levels of testosterone because it helps the enzymes that converts cholesterol into testosterone.

Although this mineral is mostly found in red meat, poultry, egg yolks, and shellfish; some plants also provide some zinc such as beans and nuts. The best dietary source, however is found in oysters! You can also get some more Zinc through your interaction with dirt! That’s right, the outdoors, earthing (barefoot walking), the sandy beach etc

The daily recommended dose of zinc for men is 11 mg/day (for women it’s 8 mg/day). Low zinc levels are rare but tend to occur in vegetarians/vegans, athletes, and people who sweat a lot because zinc is lost in sweat. And low zinc levels have been linked to low testosterone levels.

Of course if you don’t get enough zinc in your diet you can always supplement. Before you do, however, consider a few things:

It is possible to get too much zinc so unless your doctor tells you never take more than 40 mg/day.  For many people just 5-10 mg/day is enough to prevent deficiency.

Zinc supplements can also interact with certain medications so be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist to find out if zinc supplements are safe for you.

Zinc supplements are best taken 2-hours away from any medications (if it’s safe to use it at all while taking those medications) and should be taken with food.

Strategy #2: Get enough vitamin D

Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin” is actually the most common nutrient that we in North America just simply don’t get enough of. Not only is it not very abundant in foods but most places far from the equator don’t get enough sunlight to produce adequate levels year round.

Hello winter; goodbye sunshine vitamin.

Vitamin D is known to help us absorb calcium from our foods and is also necessary for our immune system, nervous system, and muscular system.  As with zinc if you’re deficient in this nutrient you may experience increased testosterone levels after supplementing.

Vitamin D deficiency is most commonly associated with bone conditions such as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.

It is a fat-soluble vitamin and is found in fatty fish, organ meats, and egg yolks.  Unfortunately it isn’t abundant in most other un-fortified foods.

The bottom line with vitamin D is that you may need to supplement.  Of course if you’re always outside in the sun or eat fatty fish every day you may be the exception.  You can always ask your doctor to check your blood levels to be sure because vitamin D is another one of those nutrients where more is not always better.

Here are a few tips to supplement with vitamin D safely and effectively:

Read your labels and don’t overdo it. Don’t jump into supplementing with more than 4,000IU/day unless supervised by your physician.

As with zinc (and most other supplements) you should check with your doctor or pharmacist if you’re taking any medications.

Take your vitamin D with some fat to help your body absorb this vitamin.  It is often recommended that you take it with the largest meal of the day.

Note that vitamin D is also found in cod liver oil (my favortite is Fermented Cod Liver Oil), and multivitamins, so you may not need to take it separately (read your labels).

Summary:

Lower Testosterone levels may be due to a Zinc or Vitamin D deficiency, which are essential to the building blocks of proper nutrition. Try boosting these, but you don’t  want to overdo it.

RECIPE: Honey Salmon and Sesame 

Vitamin D and Zinc

Serves 4
Ingredients:
2-3 Pounds, salmon fillets
¼ Cup soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos
¼ Cup sesame oil
1 Lemon, juiced
2 Tablespoons honey or coconut nectar
1 Inch of ginger, shredded or 1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 Tablespoon, coconut oil
2 Tablespoons, diced green onions or chives
2 Tablespoons, sesame seeds

Instructions:
-Mix soy sauce/tamari/aminos, sesame oil, lemon juice, honey/coconut nectar and ginger together to make a marinade.
-Place salmon in a glass dish and cover with marinade.  Let sit for a few hours or overnight.
-Heat a large cast iron frying pan over medium heat and add coconut oil.
-Place salmon in pan skin side down and cook for 2-3 minutes.
-Pour marinade into the pan, lower the heat and cook for 3-5 more minutes or until salmon flakes easily with a fork.
-Sprinkle with diced green onions/chives and sesame seeds.

Serve and Enjoy!

Tip:
Wild salmon can contain up to 4 times the amount of vitamin D as farmed salmon. I always recommend Wild Caught seafood.


References:
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-cholesterol
http://summertomato.com/how-to-raise-your-hdl-cholesterol
https://authoritynutrition.com/top-9-biggest-lies-about-dietary-fat-and-cholesterol/
https://examine.com/nutrition/how-can-i-increase-testosterone-naturally/
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/reference/table/ref_elements_tbl-eng.php
http://thewellnessbusinesshub.com/yes-nutrient-deficiencies-heres-proof-can/
https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-Consumer/
http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/atReq.do?atid=zinc.mono&lang=eng
https://examine.com/supplements/Zinc/
https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-Consumer/
http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=183&lang=eng
https://examine.com/supplements/Vitamin+D/
https://authoritynutrition.com/9-foods-high-in-vitamin-d/
Image by InSapphoWeTrust from Los Angeles, California, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons


B.T.Dubs. If you haven’t had a chance to try our Passion Barre classes yet, we’d love to host you! Freedom and the sweet after burn has been spreading like a wildfire since we introduced Rancho Cucamonga to the barre! Your first trial class is only $15, or you have the option to try 3 Classes for $33. We match attendance points with donations to our partners who rescue women and children from human trafficking, so click here to reserve!
In Southern California, we serve Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Fontana, Ontario, Claremont, Montclair, Corona, Eastvale, Mira Loma, Riverside, Pomona and other surrounding cities. See you at the Barre 😉

I’d be one of the first to admit several years ago that I’ve probably chimed in on the Cholesterol hype several years ago even though I might not have really known what it all meant back then.

So before we put on our full on myth busting suits, let’s make sure we all at least understand what cholesterol actually is.

Myth #1: “Cholesterol” is cholesterol

Cholesterol is a component of a compound which floats around your blood, and these compounds contain cholesterol as well as fats and special proteins called “lipoproteins”.

So while cholesterol is understood as a molecule that floats through your blood, what it is bound to as it floats is more important than merely how much cholesterol there is overall. It can in fact have an opposite effect on the arteries and heart depending on what the cholesterol is combined with. Yes, quite the opposite!

These Lipoproteins are grouped into two main categories:
HDL: High Density Lipoprotein (also know as the “good” cholesterol) which “cleans up” some of those infamous arterial “plaques” and transports cholesterol back to the liver.
LDL: Low Density Lipoprotein (also known as the “bad” cholesterol) that transports cholesterol from the liver (and is the kind found to accumulate in arteries and become easily oxidized hence making them “bad”).

But it gets a little more complex: Each of these categories is further broken down into subcategories which can also be measured in a blood test.

So “cholesterol” isn’t simply cholesterol because it has very different effects on your body depending on which other molecules it’s bound to in your blood and what it is actually doing there.

Myth #2: Cholesterol is bad

Cholesterol is absolutely necessary for your body to produce critical things like vitamin D when your skin is exposed to the sun, your sex hormones (e.g. estrogen and testosterone), as well as bile to help you absorb dietary fats. Not to mention the fact that it’s incorporated into the membranes of your cells.

Talk about an important molecule!

The overall amount of cholesterol in your blood (AKA “total cholesterol”) isn’t nearly as important as how much of each kind you have in your blood.

While way too much LDL cholesterol as compared with HDL (the LDL:HDL ratio) may be associated with an increased risk of heart disease it is absolutely not the only thing to consider for heart health.

Myth #3: Eating cholesterol increases your bad cholesterol

Most of the cholesterol in your blood is made by your liver. It’s actually not from the cholesterol you eat. Why do you think cholesterol medications block an enzyme in your liver (HMG Co-A reductase, to be exact)? Because that’s where it’s made!

What you eat still can affect how much cholesterol your liver produces. After a cholesterol-rich meal your liver doesn’t need to make as much.

Myth #4: Your cholesterol should be as low as possible

As with almost everything in health and wellness there’s a balance that needs to be maintained.  There are very few extremes that actually serve you well.

People with too-low levels of cholesterol have increased risk of death from other non-heart-related issues like certain types of cancers, as well as suicide.

Myth #5: Drugs are the only way to get a good cholesterol balance

First, don’t start or stop any medications without talking with your doctor.

That being said – while drugs can certainly lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol they don’t seem to be able to raise the “good” HDL cholesterol all that well.

But guess what does (as I do my sing-song motion)?

Nutrition and exercise! Seriously, follow me beyond the cliché and “hear it all before” feeling. Tap into this POWERFUL lifestyle secret and reap the benefits for decades.

A very impactful way to lower your cholesterol through nutrition is be eating a lot of fruits and vegetables – especially vegetable. An I mean a lot, as in 10 servings every single day.

Not to worry- the fun recipe below will help you add another enjoyable, delicious salad to to you daily servings.

Additionally, do exercise, do lose weight, stop smoking, and eat (more and) better quality fats. That means fatty fish, avocados and extra virgin olive oil. Completely ditch the over-processed hydrogenated “trans” and man made fats.

Summary: 

Cholesterol, heart health and the science behind all that is seemingly complicated and we are learning more every day as there is more to learn. However, you shouldn’t need to be afraid of it as much as there are a lot of things you can do proactively from a nutrition and lifestyle perspective to improve and support your cholesterol health.

 

 

RECIPE: Orange Hemp Seed Dressing

Dressing for you Salad

Makes about ¾ cup
Ingredients:
½ cup hemp seeds
½ cup orange juice
1 clove of garlic, peeled
dash salt and/or pepper

Instructions:
Blend all ingredients together until creamy.
Serve on top of your favourite salad and Enjoy!

Tip:
Store extra in airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for about a week.

 


References:
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-cholesterol
http://summertomato.com/how-to-raise-your-hdl-cholesterol
https://authoritynutrition.com/top-9-biggest-lies-about-dietary-fat-and-cholesterol/
Image by JPS68 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons


B.T.Dubs. If you haven’t had a chance to try our Passion Barre classes yet, we’d love to host you! Freedom and the sweet after burn has been spreading like a wildfire since we introduced Rancho Cucamonga to the barre! Your first trial class is only $15, or you have the option to try 3 Classes for $33. We match attendance points with donations to our partners who rescue women and children from human trafficking, so click here to reserve!
In Southern California, we serve Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Fontana, Ontario, Claremont, Montclair, Corona, Eastvale, Mira Loma, Riverside, Pomona and other surrounding cities. See you at the Barre 😉

There’s something your waist measurement knows that your scale doesn’t.

Maybe you’d like to completely ditch your scale.

And perhaps you and your “weight” even have a strained relationship.

Because certainly, it doesn’t define you (hopefully you know that).

And what you weigh does matter, but only to a certain extent.

Because what matters is more is central to your waistline’s circumference (pun intended). Let’s take a closer, maybe awkward, but totally relatable look at our bellies.

Belly Fat:

Remember the body form description named after fruit like apples and pears? The apple is more round right around the middle (do the beer belly appearances ring a bell?) and the pear is more round around the hips and highs.

Well guess which shape is most frequently associated with a higher risk of sleep apnea, blood sugar problems (e.g. insulin resistance and diabetes) and heart problems (high blood pressure, blood fat, and arterial diseases)?

The apple!
Not so much because of the subcutaneous (under the skin) fat that you may have heard referred to as a “muffin top”.  The risk to our health is actually due to the fat inside the abdomen covering organs like the the liver, intestines and others.

The internal fat is known as “visceral fat” and that’s where a lot of the problem is. In this “un-pinchable” fat that you can’t actually grab.

The reason visceral fat poses a health problem is because it releases fatty acids, inflammatory compounds, and hormones that could negatively affect blood fats, blood sugars, and blood pressure.

Those with more of an apple-shape tend to have a lot more hidden visceral fat than those that are pear-shaped.

So of course, while excess fat storage is a key issue, where your excess fat is stored is even more important that your weight.

 

An apple or a pear – which one am I?

It’s simple to figure out if you fall into the higher risk category or not. The easiest way being to simply measure your waist line with a measuring tape to determine the circumference. Do this right now if you can.

As a marker in general, women, if your waist is 35 inches or more you may be said to have “abdominal obesity” which could place you in the higher risk category. Keep in mind that expecting mothers are exempt, of course.

For men in general that number is 40 inches.

Now this is not by any means a diagnostic tool, as there are a lot of other risk factors for chronic diseases and the waist line is just one.

If you have concerns, please do see your doctor.

 

Tips for helping reduce some belly fat:

Eat more fiber. Fiber can help reduce belly fat in a few ways.  First of all it helps you feel full and also helps to reduce the amount of calories you absorb from your food.  Some examples of high-fiber foods are brussel sprouts, flax and chia seeds, avocado, and blackberries.

Add more protein to your day. Protein reduces your appetite and makes you feel fuller longer.  It also has a high TEF (thermic effect of food) compared with fats and carbs and ensures you have enough of the amino acid building blocks for your muscles.

Cut out the added sugars. This means I’m encouraging you to ditch the processed sweetened foods especially those sweet drinks (even 100% pure juice).

Get into the joy of movement. Dance, climb, lift some weight (your body weight or other resistance); walk often and take the stairs; get some interval cardio/aerobic exercise. It all adds up.

Now seriously… stress less!  Elevated levels in the stress hormone, Cortisol have been shown to increase appetite, cravings, drive abdominal fat up and increase appearance of AGING!

Sleep more. Make this a priority and see how much better you will feel (and look, by the way).

RECIPE (High Fiber Side Dish):

Lemon Garlic Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Serves 4
Ingredients:
-1 lb Brussels Sprouts (washed, ends removed, halved)
-2 to 3 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
-2 Tablespoons, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-2 Teaspoons, Fresh Lemon Juice
-A Dash of Salt and Pepper

Instructions:
-Preheat oven to 400F.
-Toss Brussel Sprouts in a bowl with garlic, oil, and lemon juice. Spread on a baking tray and season with salt and pepper.
-Bake for about 15 minutes, then toss.
-Bake for another 10 minutes.
-Serve and Enjoy!

Tip:
Brussel sprouts contain the fat-soluble bone-loving Vitamin K. Eat them more often 😉


References:
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/research-abdominal-fat-and-risk
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/visceral-fat-location
http://www.drsharma.ca/inspiring-my-interest-in-visceral-fat
https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-definition/abdominal-obesity/
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/weights-poids/guide-ld-adult/qa-qr-pub-eng.php#a4
https://authoritynutrition.com/6-proven-ways-to-lose-belly-fat/
https://authoritynutrition.com/20-tips-to-lose-belly-fat/
Image by Vegan Feast Catering (Skewered Brussels & Shiitakes) [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons


B.T.Dubs. If you haven’t had a chance to try our Passion Barre classes yet, we’d love to host you! Freedom and the sweet after burn has been spreading like a wildfire since we introduced Rancho Cucamonga to the barre! Your first trial class is only $15, or you have the option to try 3 Classes for $33. We match attendance points with donations to our partners who rescue women and children from human trafficking, so click here to reserve!
In Southern California, we serve Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Fontana, Ontario, Claremont, Montclair, Corona, Eastvale, Mira Loma, Riverside, Pomona and other surrounding cities. See you at the Barre 😉