5 Foods You Must Avoid

Another Great Article From Prograde Nutrition!

By Kevin DiDonato MS, CSCS, CES

Buying local, fresh foods from Farmers’ markets, organic farms, or from your local grocer can go a long way for your budget and your health.  However, not everyone can benefit or wants to shop healthy.  Here are the top five foods to avoid or minimize in your diet for a longer, healthier life and a leaner waistline, followed by the top five foods that will give you amazing health benefits.

Food #1 Low-fat Foods

Food labeling can be very deceptive when it comes to food geared for weight loss.  Low-fat foods are one of the products to be careful about.  Just because the food says “low fat,” does not mean the food is low calorie.  Be sure to check the label and see how many calories are typically in the product.  Most people associate low-fat foods with lower calories, so they tend to eat more.  Do not be fooled by this deceptive labeling technique.

Food #2 Sugar-Free Foods

Sugar-free foods are geared to people with diabetes or at risk for developing diabetes.  Sugar-free foods have low calories and no sugar.

However, look at the label under sugars, and you will see something interesting.  Sugar-free foods tend to have sugar alcohols, which is an ingredient designed to give it sweetness.  Most of the time, sugar alcohol is made from sugar products, which can lead to increased calories.  Sugar alcohols carry between 1.5 and 4 calories per gram.  Not only do you get extra calories, but you also can get cramping, bloating, and other gastrointestinal problems if you ingest too much.

Food #3  Commercial Smoothies

Normally, smoothies are associated with healthy eating.  They have skim milk, fruit, and yogurt, so they are considered a great, healthy food.  Some commercial smoothies, however, have many hidden calories from extra sugar.  Some smoothies are also made with ice cream, so you end up ballooning sugar, fat, and calorie content.  Most of the time, the fruit in smoothies is blended up into fruit juice, or fruit juice is added.   This eliminates the fiber that is found in the skin of most fruits.  My advice:  Make your smoothies at home, and leave the commercial smoothies on the shelf.

Food #4 Commercial Yogurts

Yogurt, again, has been considered a natural health product containing calcium, probiotics, and other products that have been shown to be beneficial to our health.  Look at the label again, and you might see something surprising.   When looking at the label, some of the first few ingredients in yogurt are different forms of sugar.  All this extra sugar can lead to weight gain and stubborn, hard-to-lose body fat.  So again, read the label and see exactly what is in the product before you choose the yogurt of choice.

Food #5 Sugary energy drinks including items with added vitamins and minerals

Energy drinks have been advertised as giving you that extra pick-me-up during the day, and a way to increase the intensity of your workouts.  Energy drinks can contain high amounts of caffeine and sugar, which gives you that initial pick-me-up, but you end up crashing hard later.  Also, some drinks that have added vitamins and minerals, can have loads of sugar as well.  So stop and think before you drink and choose something lower in calories and sugar, maybe something like coffee or tea.

Next, I am going to share with you 5 foods that are beneficial to your health, and you might not even know it.


Food #1 Swiss Chard

Aging can create many different problems for people.  Wrinkles, lack of balance, and our eyesight can worsen, and are just some of the different things that happen with the aging process.  Swiss chard is considered a super food because of some of the amazing caroteniods that can be found in this leafy green vegetable.  Swiss chard contains high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin that have been shown to help with good eyesight.   These two caroteniods have been shown to build up in the eyes, which help with the way light rays enter our eyes and are absorbed.


Food #2 Pepper, Especially Capsaicin

So most of you are probably asking why pepper is on the list.  Pepper is a zero-calories food that can add a lot of flavor to your foods.  Not only does it pack a great punch to your foods, but capsaicin has been shown to have tremendous anti-inflammatory properties.  It has also been shown to be helpful in fighting some cancers because of its anti-cancer effects.
Food #3 Wheat Grass

There are plenty of juices out there that contain Wheat Grass which is chock full of vitamins and minerals that will keep you healthy.   Loaded with Vitamins, B, C, and E, this food can help to clean out your system and fight infections.   Not only does this food contain essential vitamins and minerals, but it also is a complete protein.  This food is full of the essential amino acids that our bodies require for building muscle.   The high concentration of vitamins helps protect the body from stress that our bodies are under daily.

Food #4 Tahini

Tahini is now found in most grocery stores as an excellent source of all the B vitamins as well as calcium.  B vitamins are essential in development of healthy cells in the body, especially red blood cells.   B vitamins can also help in raising metabolism, and help our immune system become stronger.  Tahini also holds a surprising amount of calcium, zinc, and copper.  The high levels of calcium can help keep bones strong and healthy, and might be responsible in fighting some cancers. Tahini also holds an abundance of fiber, specifically sesamin and sesomolin, which can have positive effects in lowering cholesterol.
Food #5 Avocado

This amazing fruit helps reduce inflammation through some of the carotenoids found in the green, fleshy part of the avocado. This vegetable also has a tremendous amount of fat, but the good fats that are beneficial to the body. The main source of fat is Oliec acid, which helps with fat absorption and also helps to lower the risk for developing heart disease. Avocados also have phytosterols, which keep inflammation in the body under control.

How To Instantly Remove Two Of Your Biggest Weight Loss Obstacles >>

5 Exercise Goals for Beginners

A handful of things every newbie should put on his or her exercise to-do list.

Just getting started exercising? Congratulations! Your decision is one that will bring you face to face with improved health, looks, energy, and more. While there is a great temptation to swallow the entire gym whole in one bite, it’s better to take stock and come up with goals that fit your needs.
Ready to create some gym-worthy goals that will help you reach your destination of a better, healthier life? Get started with the list below.

Goal 1: Find a Time

The first thing you have to do before you work out is figure out when you’re going to head to the gym. Sure, you may go to the gym on a whim on occasion, but you can’t depend on these spur-of-the-moment trips to help you meet your other fitness goals. Rather, you’re going to have to come up with a regular time to get to the gym. Whether it’s at 4 a.m., during your lunch hour, or right after work, having a predetermined time to exercise will help you with the next goal.

Goal 2: Stick with It

Once you’ve figured out when you can work out, it’s up to you to make sure you follow through. Though you may think the benefits of exercising are enough to keep you going strong, you may be wrong. To make it a little easier to stick with your routine, give yourself a goal of sticking with your routine three days a week for three months. Once you’ve been at it for that long, it should be cemented into your schedule, making it easier to stick with exercise for the long haul. If you constantly need another goal, reset your clock for another three months a week or two before completing the initial three months.

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. - Jim Ryun

Goal 3: Trim or Tone

Toning up and trimming down are often the primary purposes for working out. If these are reasons for your new interest in exercise, use them to your advantage. Every day you work out, write down your weight, the most important measurements to you, and the exercises you perform. Over time, you’ll be able to see improvements in all three areas. And if you’re having trouble in one (it can be difficult to continue losing weight after a certain point), you can be encouraged by other statistics, such as your lowered blood pressure or how much longer you can stay on the treadmill now than when you first began.

Goal 4: Be Honest

When you’re first getting into your exercise regimen, it’s easy to be forthcoming about your workout routine. After all, you’re in the gym three times a day, lifting more weights in a day than you have in the past four years, and running six miles during lunch. But it becomes more difficult to be honest when you’ve been at it a while. To keep yourself honest, get an exercise partner to hold you accountable. The best way for this to work is to work out with this person every time you go to the gym. This way, your partner knows when you’ve worked out and can help you work out at the intensity necessary for you to meet your other exercise goals.

Goal 5: Limit Rewards

It’s not uncommon for people to feel they deserve rewards for every positive thing they do. If you’re one of these people, you may seek a reward for your exercising prowess. But it’s important to see the way you feel and look as your reward. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with missing a day at the gym or licking an ice cream now and then. However, if you’re not careful, your reward system can wind up making it impossible for you to meet your exercise-minded goals.

 

URGENT! Free Child Safety Classes In Killeen!

Attention all parents and clients!

Does Your Child Know What To Do Now?

In light of the recent child abductions and several attempts in the area, the gym will be hosting a FREE 2 part child safety clinic next week. As you know, the gym isn’t that big so I am asking for you to RSVP you and your child(ren).

We will host a expert in child safety as well as local authorities. More information to follow.

  • Part One will be conducted Wednesday, November 3rd at 5:30PM.
  • Part Two will be conducted Saturday, November 6th at 10:00AM.

Please don’t miss out on this opportunity to arm your family with prevention. Feel free to invite other family members, just include them in your RSVP.

Thank you so much for helping us protect our children.

Do These 8 Underrated Exercises

They may not be fancy, but these exercises do the body good. So why are you ignoring them?

Eat Plank For Breakfast!


You go the gym, do the same routine day in and day out, and go home But is your routine pushing your body to be its best or are you sticking by a certain set of exercises just because you’re comfortable with them? Read on to find eight exercises that you – along with half the people in your gym – may be neglecting.

Bridges

They seem so basic, because they are. Resting on your forearms and toes, you hold your stomach tight in order to cause your body to levitate a few inches off the ground, keeping your back straight. Thanks to these stripped down, basic exercises, your body gets the basic results you want – a stronger, more supportive core.

Deadlifts

Though pictures of competitive body builders may leap in your head when thinking of deadlifts, you may be surprised that the average Joe or Jo should also be performing this underrated exercise. Why? Because you perform it one way or another almost every day. Whether picking up your child during playtime, grabbing a bag of 35-pound dog food from the bottom shelf, dead lifts are part of life. Getting better at them at the gym only makes sense.

Horizontal Pull-Ups

This one may be neglected because it’s not as available as others. Or at least it doesn’t seem to be available. To perform this, you have to find a bar relatively close to the ground. Hanging underneath it with your body extended out and feet resting on the floor, pull yourself up to the bar repeatedly. While essentially the same motion as push-ups or bench pressing, horizontal pull-ups push your body in slightly different ways and more closely mimic movements necessary for climbing and other activities.

Push-Ups

Always the underdog, push-ups are the essence of basic exercise, working out the chest, biceps, and triceps. In fact, if performed correctly, you’ll be forced to tighten your core muscles during each repetition, which adds to the shape and strength of your six-pack abdominal muscles.

Running

You probably don’t see a lot of body builders on the treadmill. That’s because they run at home. One of the most vital pieces to a complete workout regimen, running consistently improves your cardiovascular health, increases your stamina, and helps tone and shape your muscles.

Squats

Toss some weight on a rack and bend at the knees until you lower yourself toward the ground as far as possible. Return to your starting position and repeat – but do it all with precision and proper mechanics. You’ll feel the burn in your legs, but squats actually work quite a few other muscles and should therefore not be neglected in your routine.

Stretches

Often overlooked as an unnecessary part of working out, stretching is anything but unnecessary. In fact, if you want to get bigger and stronger and maintain your range of motion, the only way to do it is through stretching whatever body part you’re planning to exercise. There are stretches for every muscle, from the thighs to the calves to the biceps to the neck. With a little stretching, you give your body a chance to warm up and prevent yourself from potential injury.

Swimming

It offers a full-body workout that tests your stamina and strength. You’ve known it for years, but you still don’t take advantage of it. What kind of swimming should you get started with? Any kind of swimming will work, and swimming freestyle laps at a moderate pace is a great way to break your body into swimming shape.

And the Downside

Now that you know what exercises deserves a spot in your routine, you may be curious about some of the exercises out there that get too much credit.

The following are a few of the most overrated exercises that you may be doing with a little too much frequency:

  • lunges: they’re great in moderation, but it’s not uncommon to overdo lunges and wind up with knee problems down the road
  • bench press: very useful in defining the chest and arms, the bench press belongs in your routine; just be careful not to start and end every routine with it
  • sit-ups: yes, they strengthen your abdominal muscles, but you’ll never have a six-pack unless you eat right and get enough cardio to burn off the layer of fat covering up you abs

8 Ways Your Child Can Defeat The Bully Without Violence

Help Me!

Bullying has always been a part of growing up. But how a child deals with it and the repercussions of dealing with bullying have changed dramatically.

Incidences of bullying vary in severity. One thing that’s certain is repeated attacks whether verbal, physical, written, or on the internet erode your child’s fragile self-esteem. The CDC linked bullying to isolation, drug use, violence, and suicide! But your child does not have to be a victim. Follow these tips…

Use The Secret Word to Stop Bullying Before it Starts

The assault can be verbal or physical, either way the first line of defense remains the same. It’s one word… Confidence! Here’s why; Bullies choose their victims much like a criminal would choose a victim.

They go for the easy and obvious target. So if your child looks like a kid who will get bullied, guess what, they’re going to get bullied. On the other hand if your child radiates self-confidence they are less likely to be a victim, it’s almost that simple!

Body Language is Key

Your child needs to walk with their head up; their shoulders square, and make eye contact with people. Just doing so, even if your child needs work on their self-esteem, will keep bullies away from them. This is easier said than done, but it can be learned. So having them change their body language (what they are saying non-verbally) will have a huge impact. Teaching this can serve as a quick fix. However, going to work on their self-confidence will have a greater long-term affect on keeping bullies away.

Embrace Your Role

Children get their first layer of self-confidence from parents. The love you show your child and the time you spend with them gives them their feelings of self-worth. It has been said that the number one role of parenting is to develop a self-confident individual.

Speaking Up

Teach your child how to speak up clearly when they first meet someone. Teach them the importance of making eye-contact when they talk to you. Get them out of their comfort zone and have them explore new things. The more you have them confront fear and discomfort the more confident they will become.

The first few tips are meant to stop bullying before it starts. Now here’s what your child can do if the bully chooses them…

Create A Boundary When Confronted By A Bully

The next layer of defense is to create a boundary. Children can protect themselves with an assertive body posture: Feet apart a little, one foot in front, shoulders square, chin up, eye contact, and most importantly, hands up as if making a “Stop” Gesture! We call this our self-defense stance. Its purpose is to communicate neutrality, awareness and, assertiveness. This stance is designed to get them out of trouble.

Using Words Properly

Finally, your child will have to use their words. Simple phrases and commands said in an assertive voice will tell the bully that they will not be a victim. Simple commands like; “Stop, Back Off, Back Away!” Said in the right tone will stop the bully in his tracks!

Safe Self-Defense

Of course if none of the above works (and the truth is nothing works every time) then your child will have to defend themselves. But only if and when their safety is threatened.

Defeating the Cyber-Bully

Don’t Give Cyber-Bullies Ammunition

Text messaging and social network sites open up a whole new avenue for bullies. Sit down with your child and be sure they understand not to give the bullies any ammunition. Make them aware the minute they text someone or send an email those words can be taken out of context or used against them. Absolutely under no circumstances should your child ever send inappropriate photos of themselves or allow anyone else to take photos that go against good judgment.

Cyber-bullying can be stopped with confidence and respect just like physical bullying.

As you can see dealing with a bully has its challenges. There is no one way that works every time. However, when your child develops high levels of self-esteem and self-confidence a bully’s words or actions will role off them like water off a duck’s back.

Is your child being bullied?

Need help with your child’s self confidence?

Want your child to learn some self defense  and life skills?

Call Me at 254-247-4999 for a special offer. Ends October 15, 2010

Welcome New Fitness Boot Camp Athletes!

I want to welcome Paige Claro and Norma Martinez to our evening Boot Camp class! Oh and they totally rocked the “Murph” workout today. Just sayin.

What’s Your Real Reason For Not Commiting?

Do you have a REAL reason for not training, for not working hard to lose fat? A REAL reason for it?

Look at this picture and tell me yes...

A Great Visit WIth BJJ Professor Jamel McCurry!

We had a great time with Professor Jamel McCurry on Friday. I got to spend a few hours with him working on my own skill development as well as learning some new ways to move that will help protect my bad back. Next, he taught a cool kids class and had us all laughing.

Some of the instructional topics were:

  • How posture in different positions can affect attempts to escape or transition
  • Submission technique combination’s from transitions
  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu theory and application
  • Importance of “hooking” in positional control
  • Lots more. Missed it? Shame on ya!

To top off the visit after the adult class; Professor Jamel promoted Coaches Lynn and Britt to Blue Belt. It was a great rewarding time.

Professor Jamel is a amazing instructor and his critical eye and extensive knowledge is going to be a great benefit to all of us. Can’t wait until the next trip!