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 😉

Passion Barre Instructor guides client in Pelvic Stabilizing and glue firming exerciseWe have some double-edged exciting news – We’ve heard your requests, and our EARLY morning class is back on the schedule to help you master and boost your energy all day!
If you’re looking for inspiration, low-impact, great energy and the lean, lithe look of a dancer (without being a dancer) to start your day with, then the 5:45AM Passion Power Barre is for you. It’s a sneakily powerful workout that’ll awaken your metabolism; restore your posture, give your bottom a stiletto lift; narrow the thighs; firm up the abs; increase flexibility; melt fat; change your state; and help renew your mind rather quickly.
So, belly up to the barre with Chantel for some serious toning, strengthening and life changing action.

And I just spilled the beans on the other great news!

Let me give a “proper” introduction:

She’s COMING FOR YOU, tribe! The gorgeous damsel you see in that shot, our resident trainee, Chantel, has wrapped up her learnings and is unleashing her serious, then hilarious, no-nonsense passion for the barre. Come and get to know her – look for her on the schedule starting this week, as early as 5:45AM! That’s right, she’s championing that class.

You know we all have “titles” beyond the Fitness Artist. For Chantel, I’m thinking “Resident Waist-Snatcher” 😂😂

So here’s my call to action for you – click here to reserve your Tuesday/Thursday 5:45AM to 6:30AM spot now and let us know you want to keep that class. Feel GREAT, get more done, cut out interruptions and excuses to stay strong and healthy as you reduce risks of obesity, signs of aging or life threatening diseases.

With the Passion Power Barre class, you’ll power up the rest of your day in this shorter “everything-Passion-Barre” class with quicker interval bursts of intensity for more sculpting and fat burning power.

Our Passion Barre workout technique calls for a unique approach to fitness focusing first on you, then the use of your body-weight as resistance, often at the Ballet Barre, and on/across the floor. Isometric and isokinetic holds and movements go deep into untouched muscles, with interval stretches and small cardio bursts which help you keep calories burning long after your session. The final stretch cools you down with de-stressing relaxation sequences. It’s Ballet meets Pilates, Cardio and Freedom – unleashing a longer, leaner, stronger, you!

So if you’ve been on the interest list, pack this class out and let us know you want it to stay! Hold your spot for the 5:45AM (ends at 6:30AM) Power Barre. Are you in? Let me know and click here to reserve now

Shine bright like the sun! 😘
‘Dami
www.passionbarre.com  | 909.276.5442


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 and donate class attendance points 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 😉

 

Holiday parties, and family feasts are simply amazing!

Not only in the abundance of yummy food, but the ambience, beloved people, decorations and just the festivities of the season. So because of this it’s pretty common to indulge during these periods, and you know what I say to that, health permitting!

BUT then it doesn’t end there. At times we not only indulge, but over indulge on “regular” days, meals, like all the time!

So if you DON’T want to worry about overeating, I can help you put an end to your worries now, with these easy common sense tips. Remember, I’m not interested in stopping you from eating- just from over-eating and over-eating food group proportions 😉

Here are three tips to avoid overeating at meals.

(Psst, turn these into habits and ditch the willpower!)

 

Tip #1: Start with some water 

With your tummy already growling and then you smell simply the simply delightful aroma of food, it’s super easy to fill your plate or even start grazing (bare hand sampling). But like I’ve shared with you before, do you know it’s easy to confuse thirst with hunger? I mean sure, if you haven’t eaten in a while, of course you’re hungry, but you’re also thirsty. So your stomach may also be desperate for some water than a huge meal.

Some studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten. And this easy and simple tip may even help with weight loss (almost “duh”, right?).

Water will not only start to fill you up before you get to the table, leaving less room for the food, but drinking enough water keeps you hydrated and has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism! Nice!

 

Tip #2: Try eating “mindfully”

You’re probably familiar with mindfulness, but do you apply that to your eating habits?

This will help you overcome overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion. How?

The same way that being mindful when you reflect and rest helps to focus your attention on your breathing and the present moment, being mindful when you eat helps you focus your attention on your meal to break it down properly and give your digestive system and healthier process to absorb nutrients and get rid of waste.

You achieve this by taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savouring every mouthful. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe.

This can help prevent overeating because eating slower often means eating less.

When you eat quickly you can easily overeat because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full.

So take your time, pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite.

Bonus points: Eat at a table (not in front of the screen), off of a small plate, and put your fork down between bites.

 

Tip #3: Start with the salad

You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish.

But wait. Really. Start with the salad.
(Don’t worry, you can have some…just after you’ve eaten your salad).

Veggies are a great way to start any meal because they’re full of not only vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting phytochemicals but they also have some secret satiety weapons: fiber and water.

Fiber and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller.  They’re “satiating”.

And these secret weapons are great to have on your side when you’re about to indulge in a large meal.

Summary:

Have your glass of water, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals.

Recipe (Infused Water):


Tasty (and beautiful) Pre-Meal Water Ideas
If you’re not much of a plain water drinker or need your water to be more appealing to your senses, here are five delicious (and beautiful looking) fruit combos to add to your large glass of water:
Slices of Strawberries & Orange
Slices of Lemon & Ginger
Blueberries & Raspberries
Slices of apple & a Cinnamon Stick
Chopped Pineapple & Mango

Tip:
Also, buy a bag/several bags of frozen chopped fruit and put those in your cup, or super cool bottle or jar at the beginning of your day. They”ve already been washed and cut, and will help keep your water colder for longer period of time.


References:
https://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-of-water/
http://summertomato.com/the-science-behind-mindful-eating-what-happens-to-your-body-during-a-mindful-meal


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’ll donate a portion of that 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 😉

 

The Scoop on Your Metabolism

This word, “metabolism,” is thrown around quite a whole lot nowadays. And you understand that if yours is too “slow” it will cause you to gain weight or keep you from losing weight, but what is metabolism, exactly?

To answer that question easily – “metabolism” is simply defined as all the biochemical reactions in your body that help to maintain physical life. It is the way your intake of all nutrients and oxygen is used to fuel everything you do.

Your body has an incredible ability to grow, heal, and generally stay alive.  And without this amazing biochemistry you would not be possible.

Metabolism includes how the cells in your body:

-Process activities you can control (e.g. physical activities.

-Allow activities you can’t control (e.g. your heart beat, healing of wounds, nutrient processing and toxins, etc.).

-Process the storage of unused/excess energy for later.

When you put these processes all together into your metabolism you can imagine that they can can work too quickly, too slowly, or just right… Which brings us to the “metabolic rate”.

Metabolic rate

This is how fast your metabolism works and is measured in calories (yup, those calories!).

The calories you eat can go to one of three places:

Work (i.e. exercise and other activity).

Heat (i.e. from all those biochemical reactions).

Storage (i.e. extra leftover “unburned” calories stored as fat).

As you can imagine the more calories you burn as work or creating heat the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off because there will be fewer “leftover” calories to store for later.

There are a couple of different ways to measure metabolic rate. One is the “resting metabolic rate” (RMR) which is how much energy your body uses when you’re not being physically active.

The other is the “total daily energy expenditure” (TDEE) which measures both the resting metabolic rate as well as the energy used for “work” (e.g. exercise) throughout a 24-hour period.

What affects your metabolic rate?

The Bottomline? A whole lot!

The first thing you may think of is your thyroid. This gland at the front of your throat releases hormones to tell your body to “speed up” your metabolism.  Of course, the more thyroid hormone there is the faster things will work and the more calories you’ll burn.

But that’s not the only thing that affects your metabolic rate.

How big you are counts too!

Larger people have higher metabolic rates; but your body composition is crucial!

As you can imagine muscles that actively move and do work need more energy than fat does.  So the more lean muscle mass you have the more energy your body will burn and the higher your metabolic rate will be.  Even when you’re not working out.

This is exactly why weight training is often recommended as a part of a weight loss program.  Because you want muscles to be burning those calories for you.

The thing is, when people lose weight their metabolic rate often slows down which you don’t want to happen.  So you definitely want to offset that with more muscle mass.

Aerobic exercise also temporarily increases your metabolic rate.  Your muscles are burning fuel to move so they’re doing “work”.

The type of food you eat also affects your metabolic rate!

Your body actually burns calories to absorb, digest, and metabolize your food.  This is called the “thermic effect of food” (TEF).

You can use it to your advantage when you understand how your body metabolizes foods differently.

Fats, for example increase your TEF by 0-3%; carbs increase it by 5-10%, and protein increases it by 15-30%.  By trading some of your fat or carbs for lean protein you can slightly increase your metabolic rate.

Another bonus of protein is that your muscles need it to grow.  By working them out and feeding them what they need they will help you to lose weight and keep it off.

And don’t forget the mind-body connection. There is plenty of research that shows the influence that things like stress and sleep have on the metabolic rate.

Summary:

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to metabolism, but hopefully you’ve learned how so many different things can work to increase (or decrease) your metabolic rate. Pick a few things out of what you can control, and see a great help to the process.

Try this recipe below to help boost your metabolism and of course, your taste buds!

 

RECIPE (Lean Protein):

Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken Breasts

Serves 4

2 Lemons, sliced
1 Tablespoon, Rosemary
1 Tablespoon, Thyme
2 Cloves of Garlic, thinly sliced
4 Chicken Breasts (boneless, skinless)
A dash of salt & pepper
1 Tablespoon, Extra Virgin Olive oil

Cooking Instructions:
-Preheat oven to 425F.  Layer ½ of the lemon slices on the bottom of a baking dish. Sprinkle with ½ of the herbs and ½ of the sliced garlic.
-Place the chicken breasts on top and sprinkle salt & pepper. Place remaining lemon, herbs and garlic on top of the chicken. Drizzle with olive oil. Cover with a lid or foil.
-Bake for 45 minutes until chicken is cooked through. If you want the chicken to be a bit more “roasty” then remove the lid/foil and broil for another few minutes (watching carefully not to burn it).

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: You can add a leftover sliced chicken breast to your salad for lunch the next day!


References:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-energy-balance

https://authoritynutrition.com/10-ways-to-boost-metabolism/

Image by J3D3 (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 $30. We’ll donate a portion of that 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 😉

Oh my goodness – there is “healthy eating” nutrition and diet information everywhere!

And each expert and association tries to lead you in their direction because they know best and their advice is going to help you.  Right?

Well, possibly…

Everyone has heard (and maybe lived through) the intense focus on how much you eat. This has gotten way too much attention because while this does affect your weight and energy level, it’s certainly not the “holy grail” of health.

Let’s focus a bit more on the often overlooked (and proven) benefits of what you eat and drink and how you eat and drink it.

 

What you eat and drink

Calories, Schmalories! – as I once heard someone say. The “calories in, calories out” philosophy (i.e. how much you eat) is being drowned out with research on other factors that may be just as important. Don’t get me wrong limiting calories, carbs or fat can certainly help you lose weight but that’s simply not the only factor for long-term weight loss and maximum energy for everyone.

When the intense focus on how much we ate didn’t work in the long-run it wasn’t really a surprise. We kinda knew that already, didn’t we?

You can certainly still continue to count your calories, carbs, and fat but don’t forget to also pay attention to what you eat.

Ideally, you need a varied diet full of minimally-processed foods (i.e. fewer “packaged” “ready-to-eat” foods).  This simple concept is paramount for weight loss, energy, and overall health and wellness. I call it the Real Food Revolution!

This is what you should aim for every day:

A colorful array of fruits and veggies at almost every meal and snack. You need the fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Enough protein. Making sure you get all of those essential amino acids (bonus: eating protein can increase your metabolism).

Healthy fats and oils (never “hydrogenated” ones). There is a reason some fatty acids are called “essential” – you need them as building blocks for your hormones and brain as well as to be able to absorb essential fat-soluble vitamins from your uber-healthy salads. Use extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, eat your organic egg yolks, and get grass-fed meats when possible. You don’t need to overdo it here.  Just make sure you’re getting some high-quality fats.

 

How you eat and drink

Also pay attention to how you eat and drink.

Studies are definitely showing that this has more of an impact than we previously thought.

Are you rushed, not properly chewing your food, and possibly suffering from gastrointestinal issues? Do you drink your food?

When it comes to how you eat let’s first look at “mindful eating”.

Mindful eating means to take smaller bites, eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and savour every bite. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe.

This gives your digestive system the hint to prepare for digestion and to secrete necessary enzymes.

This can also help with weight loss because eating slower often means eating less. Did you know that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full?

Thought so!

We also know that more thoroughly chewed food is easier to digest and it makes it easier to absorb all of those essential nutrients.

And don’t forget about drinking your food.

Yes, smoothies can be healthy and a fabulously easy and tasty way to get in some fruits and veggies (hello leafy greens!) but drinking too much food can contribute to a weight problem and feelings of sluggishness.

Don’t get me wrong a green smoothie can make an amazingly nutrient-dense meal and is way better than stopping for convenient junk food – just consider a large smoothie to be a full meal not a snack.  And don’t gulp it down too fast.

If your smoothies don’t fill you up like a full meal does try adding in a spoon of fiber like ground flax or chia seeds.

 

Summary:

Consider not only how much you eat but also what and how you eat it.

Picture of Passion Barre Peachy Green Chia Smoothie Recipe

RECIPE (Smoothie meal):


Peachy Green Chia Smoothie
Serves 1

A Handful of Spinach
1 Tablespoon, Chia Seeds
1 Banana
1 Chopped Peach
1 Cup, Unsweetened Almond Milk

Add ingredients to a blender in the order listed (you want your greens on the bottom by the blade so they blend better and have the chia on the bottom to absorb some liquid before you blend).

Wait a couple of minutes for the chia seeds to start soaking up the almond milk (preferably, pre-soak them for 30 minutes or more beforehand)

Blend, Serve and Enjoy!


Tip: Smoothies are the ultimate recipe for substitutions. Try swapping different greens, fruit or seeds to match your preference.

Bonus: Chia seeds not only have fiber and essential omega-3 fatty acids but they  contain all of the essential amino acids from protein.

So again, consider not only how much you eat but also what and how you eat it. Can you relate? Did you try the recipe or replace some ingredients? Let me know in your comment below!

References:

http://summertomato.com/wisdom-wednesday-salad-dressing-is-your-friend
https://authoritynutrition.com/20-reasons-you-are-not-losing-weight/ 
http://summertomato.com/the-science-behind-mindful-eating-what-happens-to-your-body-during-a-mindful-meal
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3061/2
Image By Marco Verch [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/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 $30. We’ll donate a portion of that 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 😉

Wow, wow, whoaman!

This week I got to speak to the “woman”. This past week I missed a couple of calls from the same number on the same day. The call ID came with no details whatsoever and that usually…

Source: Wow, wow, whoaman!

 


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 $30. We’ll donate a portion of that 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 😉

2017 barre-a-thon and free classes

It’s that time of the year again, and we are stoked to be a part of this. Check out this really short video on why your next class to a toned body and an amazing mood is FREE this coming week! AND why it’s uber natural to aspire to be a part of something BIGGER than you 

https://www.facebook.com/karingah/videos/1625977197417768/

Passion Barre-a-thon 2017 Graphic

ENJOY YOUR ONE CLASS FREE from January 23-28 at a suggested donation of $15. Proceeds go to help our partners rescue and restore women and children in captivity to human traffickers.

Yes, this is our Human Trafficking Awareness annual Barre-a-thon – we’re just doing it a little differently.

So, choose one class & register at passionbarre.com/schedule (select the “New Client Trial Class” at check out. Not brand new? Select the Fit As You Go Single Drop In” at check out).

****All Barre-a-thon participants gain access to EXCLUSIVE specials after completing the class. Fantastic news for some who’ve been waiting to jump on a special, right?!****

Alright then, are you ready to commit to being in the best shape and mindset of YOUR LIFE and be a part of something bigger? 

Let me know in your comment and tell me which class you reserved so I can look out for you!

 


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 this week is FREE, at a suggested donation of $15; or you have the option to try 3 Classes for $30. We’ll donate a portion of that 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 😉