You might have heard this before- good, real food based nutrition, plus a reasonable and consistent fitness plan is perhaps the best thing you can do for your hormones and overall health. But you might not have truly internalized this for yourself. Or you just don’t know how it applies to you in a practical way and for your body type and phase in life. With older adults, especially, taking charge in this area will give you a new outlook on life and overall better health- but the sooner, the better. With or without knowing it, a number of women develop hormone imbalances which throw a wrench in the kind of results they see even after committing to a healthy lifestyle and regimen. These can be caused by a number of chemical toxins from stress, food, medication, birth control pills, sugar, pregnancy, etc.

A hormone balancing diet and lifestyle will help improve your health, help control cravings, sugar peaks and lows; encourage better sleep, reduce inflammation and even improve the look and feel of your skin.

Just a side note on those controlling cravings… Regardless of what you’ve heard, they are NOT normal and they could be a sign of hormonal and blood sugar imbalances. When you crave, crave, and crave (you know, sweets, chips, cheese, salt, bread, alcohol or meat) it means that your blood sugar levels have dropped. And then you try to eat the right foods, but your willpower loses often because it’s not a match! Your hormones and physiology must be fed by your thought process to even support your thought process. The best thing your mind can do then is strategize before your feelings, hormones and physiology play out whatever they’ve been fed. Therefore the only way to stop a craving is to prevent it from happening, and this is actually easier to do than you might think. Here is one delicious way:

HORMONE BALANCING SNACKS

You know when they say “eat about 6 meals throughout the day” and you’re thinking “What? I don’t have time for that, it’s too tedious.” If you’re like I was, you’re thinking of every meal as a plate, and if you’re taking advise from a fitness or nutrition coach, you assume they also mean a meal plate you cooked and prepared yourself! So 6 of them in a day just sounds impossible!” Here’s the probability though- You’re probably already doing more than 3 square meals a day through your snacking habits (yes including the late night ones) and it’s time to harness them to your advantage. We often tell you that your snack is a meal, so I’ll say it again. Your snack counts as a meal.

I for one lived life mostly as an intermittent faster (a huge meal in one sitting a couple of times a day during my most active hours, followed by a longer period of not eating). It wasn’t a targeted “diet,” it was just the way I had learned to eat. My metabolism is great, I built muscle and burned through calories pretty well, and you know what, it worked for me, it worked for my body type, I barely snacked, and I had energy. I preferred proteins and meats to sweets and I joked that I ate like a man… Until my hormones shifted… for good reason 😉 And then I really learnt why Intermittent Fasting is not usually recommended for women for a long period of time when used as a weight loss diet. Because chances are, most women will experience their hormones shifting and this is not a bad thing. Hormones shift through cycles for different purposes. It’s when they get out of whack and aren’t supported that problems arise. So here’s something I stress to my ladies- if you’re struggling with imbalances, or adrenal fatigue, or whatever, you should not go long periods without food; and you must start your day with food (especially a good dose of protein and healthy fat). So while you hope your possibly unruly snacks don’t count against your caloric intake because they’re so small (sorry but they do count… sometimes even more than your healthy meals), use them to your advantage. Turn them into your power tools. Take your 2-3 square meals, factor in a couple of “snacks” inbetween and you’re already at 4-5 meals.

So here’s what I want you to do: plan on having Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, as usual. Then simply snack in-between. A purposeful small meal, that is. If you’re not that great at getting breakfast going yet, then at least start by treating it like a “snack”. Start with my suggestions below so that you can get that fuel your body. You have to start somewhere.

Studies have shown that snacks are the biggest area where most people have trouble controlling their diet. But if you add purpose to your snack, you can basically snack all day, making all your meals small but packed with nutrition. This will trigger the right signals for your body and boost your energy through the day, plus increase your ability to burn off fat and lose weight properly. To help support your hormone balancing diet we have compiled a few superfood, healing food based yummy snacks that are simple to prepare and keep on hand. Again. this should make it easy for you to balance hormones and enjoy the benefits of your active lifestyle.

Krispy Garlic-flavored Kale Chips

Ingredients:

  • 2-large bundles of kale, washed and dried completely
  • 1/2 -tsp garlic sea salt
  • Grapeseed Oil

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl tear kale leaves into medium chip-sized pieces. Sprinkle lightly with garlic salt and drizzle Grapeseed Oil evenly on all pieces. Single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake ten to twelve minutes turning once. Krispy kale chips may be kept in an airtight container for up to two days.

Healthy Five-Minute Hummus (perfect for dipping the Kale chips)

Ingredients:

  • 2-TBS sesame seed paste ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • ¼-teaspoon paprika 2-TBS fresh lemon juice
  • Dash of salt 1-fifteen ounce can chickpeas (rinsed)
  • 1-tsp ground cumin 1-clove garlic

Preparation:
Using a food processor, puree all ingredients except the paprika and a small amount of olive oil until smooth. If necessary add water for desired consistency. Transfer to serving container and drizzle the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with paprika.

Chicken Breast Stuffed Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 2-medium chicken breasts
  • 1-small red onion
  • 1 1/2 TBS Grapeseed Oil
  • 3-medium vine ripe tomatoes
  • ½-tsp chopped cilantro
  • 1/8 cup walnuts
  • 6-washed spinach leaves,
  • sea salt, pepper, garlic powder

Preparation:
Heat Grapeseed Oil on medium heat. Wash, pat dry and cut chicken breast in small cubes. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Sauté chicken until completely cooked. While chicken is cooking cut vine ripened tomatoes in half and remove all seeds and core. Finely chop 2 TBS of red onions. Tear each spinach leaf in half and place one in the bottom of each tomato. Divide red onions and sprinkle evenly over spinach leaves. Remove chicken from heat and add cilantro. Divide mixture evenly among tomato cups. Sprinkle walnuts on top.

Other Snacks on The Go

If I don’t even have an extra minute to prepare cool snacks you can still find in my purse (yes, purse) a boiled egg, a piece of fruit, or nuts and seeds. And who can forget my favorite quick snack- Kefir with coconut flakes, chia and blueberries? It’s important to have your real protein (please!), healthy fats (pretty please!) and carbs with you. I burn excess fat and lose weight with this Ketogenic approach than anything else and that means more healthy fats in the diet, ladies! So for ultra-quick treats keep walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, kefir, goat cheese, and coconut milk handy; and alternate with vegetables and munch on some raw cauliflower, celery, etc. With these yummy snacks, staying healthy, balancing hormones and supplying your energy regularly is easy and the benefits are amazing. Really, it can be that simple.

 


P.S. If it’s been too long or 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 – and we’ll be donating 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.

If you’re in the Inland Empire and you’ve been poking for solutions and wanting to learn more, this clinic right here is FREE! A special treat for you, and your guests. We’re going to have fun targeting stubborn areas; get take home techniques; gain some “nutrification” secrets and get equipped with what to do for you and your body type!

Save your spot for this Abs, Hips & Lifestyle Food Clinic if you want solutions and you have:

1. Stubborn fat areas you want to work on and learn to conquer
2. You are still unsure which specific supplements and foods are right for your fitness goals
3. You can’t get control over your cravings (cheese, bread, alcohol, chocolate, fatty meats and salt)
4. You struggle with hormone imbalances or you don’t have constant levels of energy and know that you should be feeling much better
5. You’re facing a weight loss plateau or can’t seem to lose weight no matter what
6. You want to level-up your health and take control over the aging process
7. You have food sensitivities and aren’t sure which foods you should be eating and which ones to stay away from
If any of these points resonate with you or you have different questions, this fun and revealing Abs, Hips and Lifestyle Food Clinic is for you!

Saturday, March 19, 2016 at 11AM. Registration begins at 10:45AM. Click here to register

 


P.S. If it’s been too long or 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 – and we’ll be donating 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.

You don’t have to keep getting sick!

Guess what?! You don’t have to keep getting sick! It is HOT today in the month of February in the Inland Empire, but the whether’s about to change again this week. So what to do?

Rather than considering it the inevitable, or assume it just has to go around, you might be surprised to know that you can be offensive (proactive) and defensive (fight back)- AKA build your immune system!

Here are the very basics I always mention: Get on and stay on your probiotics-The good bacteria your body needs to balance your gut and protect your immune health. You’ll find these in abundance in fermented foods, plus I encourage you to supplement if you’re not getting enough (and I mean with the live, refrigerate only type). I’ve been taking the one by Dr. Tony- Lifestyle Quixotica.

I remember some years back when I just kept getting sick. Over and over and over in one season, I got sick. It affected my commitments and of course my own sense of well-being, and I hated it! I tried all the go-to over-the-counter, symptom suppressing stuff, and even antibiotics. My darling friends, including a nurse, brought me all kinds of things to try. I was a mess and my immune system was ticked off, haha! Anyway, one friend pointed me to a newsletter from Dr. Axe and I was introduced to one of my favorite remedies- Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother-yes, the slimy looking stuff floating around in the bottle). And would you believe in a couple of days, I was all cleared up, and seriously haven’t been hit since? Cured versus covered up- Thank God! Well, of course that solidified my journey as a wellness advocate and eventually took me down the path of enrolling in the Institute of Nutritional Leadership where I’ve really come to agree with Hippocrates, when he said:

Let food be thy medicine.

Real food and real food based supplements contain so many healing properties that your body will recognize and use in it’s natural design to heal itself. So, anyway, take it from my experience: start taking some Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother) in a glass of water EVERYDAY (increase to 3 times a day to fight back when you feel it coming on). The one by Bragg’s is pretty easy to find in grocery stores. Try some essential oil blends that kick the cold and flu in the butt, (DoTerra’s OnGuard is my reliable favorite, containing immune defending ingredients like Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Rosemary Leaf/Flower essential oils).

And of course, as I truly believe, trust God for divine health!

Let me know if you have questions on my favorite supplements, where I get them, or on how to take your ACV with honey and cinnamon for an added boost and detox. You know we also have some of this stuff you could try in our studio.

If you’ve been battling these symptoms, let me know if this helps. I miss you and want to see you optimizing your health to enjoy your freedom in you everyday life; and I want to see you keep moving. I will see you at the barre 🙂

 


P.S. If it’s been too long or 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 – and we’ll be donating 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.

It’s a question I hear a lot at Passion Barre (and practically everywhere) – especially from women. And I mean from dedicated people who are trying relatively hard to shed those unwanted pounds of fat. The foundations of maintaining a healthy weight and body fat composition have always been the same, however it has become necessary in our modern time and society to take better ownership of our health and detect the varying lifestyle habits that could be weight gain or plateau culprits.

The good news is that solutions continue to abound – and not to worry, you don’t need to know everything! Just learn the foundations and pick out what you find to be helpful and actionable – then start from there. With the right attitude and accountability, you’ll be seeing desired results in no time.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, currently 36% of Americans are Overweight and 34% Obese, but the better news is that Americans are starting to wake up to the idea of exercise and a healthier diet to prevent or cure obesity and other related issues.

WHAT’S THE CAUSE?

Obesity has been around for ages, but the epidemic and cause has gone beyond over-eating or under-activity, leaving even active and committed individuals frustrated and confused.

Common causes of obesity could stem from genetics, food addictions, macronutrient imbalances, insulin resistance and cortisol imbalance, hormone signal impairments, certain types of medication, marketing (tsk tsk!), culture, ignorance, and simply doing the wrong type of workout for your state of health or body type, etc. However, there are other complicating factors that could slow down one’s ability to lose weight/fat. These include Depression, Inflammation, Digestive disease, Hypothyroidism, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Blood sugar imbalance, Chronic fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Candida.

Where to start?

LIFESTYLE STRATEGIES

If one suffers symptoms from any of these conditions, you may start addressing the root cause by consulting a physician to get a picture of things; and learning to listen to your body. Then, revive your lifestyle and eating habits with strategies that specifically target these areas. Simultaneously, de-stress and get into a workout routine you can enjoy. There are a lot of good outdoor, brick/mortar and online options out there! You may connect with us for a customized lifestyle plan to support your goals, or for helpful resources like those at DrAxe.com to help in identifying symptoms and solutions. Below are helpful tips:

1. REVIVE YOUR DIET!

Reviving lifestyle and eating habits is extremely crucial as they also affect any of the possible conditions above as well as the ability to lose weight. So in a sense solving one issue solves the other.

In order to revive, however, it is wise to replace old patterns that have not supported your goals so far. They have no life in them, therefore, let them die. Focus on foods that support your body’s ability to heal itself. A lot of these foods are also fat-burning, so here is a general list of what to eat:

High fiber foods – Foods high in fiber like vegetables, nuts, seeds, and berries make you feel fuller, without increasing your caloric intake.
Vegetables and Fruits – These are high in nutrients and low in calories.
High Quality/Organic Protein – People who eat at least 3-4 ounces of protein per meal tend to experience more satiety and eat less overall.
Wild-caught fish – Obesity tends to increase inflammation, so include foods rich in omega-3 fats to balance the ratio of widely available Omega-6 fatty acid foods.
Coconut Oil and Ghee – These healthy fats are easy for your body to use as fuel but should still be used in moderation.

2. HERE ARE FOODS YOU WANT TO AVOID:

Processed and junk food – These aren’t foods at all; and are designed to be addictive, plus the quantity becomes difficult to control.
Refined sugar – Increases hunger and leads to eating empty calories.
Refined flour – Refined products are high in calories, and low in nutrients.
Sweetened beverages –As we shared last month on how to easily lose 30 pounds, a lot of people do not account for the calories in their beverages before consuming them.
Trans and hydrogenated fats – These fats produce inflammation and are only found in foods empty of any real nutrients.

If you find any of these frequently in your diet, you want to revive your diet with the real, nature present, life enhancing foods like those previously listed above. Think of food as medicine.

3. MOVEMENT IS MEDICINE TOO, AND SO IS LAUGHTER!
You may already know the extreme importance of being physically active. Your body was designed to move and it degenerates otherwise. But it’s also important to begin with the right type of workout for the current state of your health. For example, there are several good exercise regimens, but it could be counteractive for someone with Adrenal fatigue to do a high intensity workout, without initial protocols.
All things being equal the best workout regimen is one that includes a range of resistance training (body weight or weights), compound cardio intervals, walking, and stretching.

Barre, Pilates and similar forms of movement have been shown to improve health, weight loss, moods and appearance.
When done with focus and intensity, these workouts benefit:
Memory – Journal of Physical Activity and Health
Deeper muscle activation
Reduce stress and anxiety
Improved Posture and Spinal Health
Better balance
Improved flexibility
Increased muscle tone and firming of the body

How about that for a great class?

So get into a routine that you’ll enjoy, or invest in accountability that’s a good fit for you. As you get involved, give yourself real time. Crash dieting or forgetting to take into consideration present limitations while going after fitness goals can discourage you in the process. Also keep in mind that there is so much working for you even when you face limitations. Keep your mind on the possibilities and what you are already accomplishing. Get yourself in an environment charged with inspiration, encouragement and joy, helping you develop an attitude that will help you focus and become what you focus on.

 


P.S. If it’s been too long or 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 – and we’ll be donating 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.