How much fiber do you eat each day? Grab a pen and paper and tally it up: Beans, one half cup (7); Vegetables, one cup (4); Salad, one cup (2); Fruit, one piece (3); Fruit juice, one cup (1); White bread (1); Whole grain bread (2); White rice, one cup (1); Brown rice, one cup (3); Intact Oatmeal, one cup (4); Meat, poultry or fish (0); Eggs or dairy (0); Sodas or water (0).
If you scored less than 20: You need more fiber in your diet. Boosting your fiber will control your appetite and cut your risk for many other health problems.
If you scored 20-39: You consume more fiber than most people, but adding more fiber to your diet will continue to make foods more satisfying and cut your calorie intake.
If you scored 40 or more: Congratulations, you are getting plenty of healthy fiber in your diet. An added bonus for you is a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and digestive problems.
Today I’m writing to motivate you to take action.
I understand the frustrations that you have when it comes to you body. I know all about your insecurities over the size of your thighs and how hopeless that can feel.
The answer to your body frustrations is to get you up off the couch and into the gym, day after day. So here’s my pep talk in bullet form—21 rewards that you will gain from regular exercise.
Do yourself a favor and print this list and post it where you’ll see it every day. When you need motivation or encouragement, simply read over this list and take action.
Remember that action alleviates anxiety. So whenever you’re feeling anxious over the current shape of your body, take that as a reminder to jump into action. And then begin to reap these 21 rewards of exercise...
1. You’ll reset your body: Exercise has been described as a giant reset button. A good workout will block appetite swings, improve your mood and even help you sleep.
2. Your clothes will fit better: Consistent exercise will tone and tighten your body, causing your clothes to not only fit better but to also look nicer. Also exercise ensures that soon you’ll be trading your clothes in for smaller sizes.
3. You’ll be less stressed: You have enough stress in your life—it’s time for a break. A good workout invigorates your muscles, leaving you relaxed and less stressed.
4. You’ll have more energy: WebMD tallied research studies and concluded that 90% prove exercise increases energy levels in sedentary patients. Next time you feel fatigued, fight it with the most powerful tool available: exercise.
5. You’ll be stronger: Exercise improves muscle strength and endurance, two things that you use throughout each day. When you exercise consistently you’ll be pleasantly surprised when difficult tasks begin to seem easy.
6. You’ll be less likely to binge: Exercise has a powerful anti-binge effect on the body. This is due in part by an increase in sensitivity to leptin, a protein hormone, which has an appetite-taming effect.
7. You’ll burn calories: You know that excess body fat is made up of stored and unused calories. Fight back by burning loads of calories with fat-blasting workouts.
8. You’ll be more confident: Who doesn’t wish they walked and talked with more confidence? A consistent exercise program will do just that. As your body becomes more fit, watch as your confidence sky-rockets.
9. You’ll have fun: Believe it or not, exercise can be extremely enjoyable. Remember how fun it was to run around as a child? Tap into your inner child as you find a mode of exercise that gets you excited.
10. You’ll reduce your blood pressure: Exercise has been proven more effective than medication in reducing blood pressure to normal levels. A single workout has been shown to reduce blood pressure for the day and regular exercise reduces overall blood pressure in the long run.
11. You’ll lose the jiggles: Regular exercise tightens flabby arms, legs and waistlines. So wave goodbye to the jiggles with a solid exercise program.
12. You’ll increase insulin sensitivity: Researchers at Laval University in Quebec discovered that exercise improved insulin sensitivity dramatically. Peak after-meal insulin levels dropped by more than 20 percent after as little as 3 weeks of consistent exercise.
13. You’ll sleep better: Do you toss and turn for hours before falling asleep? Exercise is a powerful sleep aid. Your tired muscles encourage your body to quickly fall asleep so they can get their overnight repair work done.
14. You’ll lower your risk of heart disease: Regular exercise strengthens your heart and makes it more resilient against disease. A sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for heart disease, so rest assured that consistent exercise is your ally against disease.
15. You’ll feel great: Vigorous exercise releases natural endorphins (happy hormones) into your blood stream that dissolve pain and anxiety. You’ve probably heard of ‘runner’s high’, this can be achieved by any great workout.
16. You’ll lower your risk of diabetes: Studies show that exercising as little as half an hour each day can dramatically reduce your risk of diabetes. If you are at risk of diabetes, or already have diabetes, regular exercise is the most effective treatment for reversing the disease.
17. You’ll meet cool people: You could benefit from a group of new, energetic friends, right? Gyms, bootcamps, workout centers and even the jogging trail are all great places to connect with fun new friends.
18. You’ll improve your BMI: You know that maintaining a healthy BMI is key in disease prevention. Exercise is the best way to keep your BMI under control.
19. You’ll increase your endurance: Do you ever get out of breath when walking up stairs or through the mall? Regular exercise builds your endurance for everyday activities.
20. Your doctor will be impressed: How many times has your doctor given you the lecture about losing weight and exercising more? Exercise regularly and get your MD off your back!
12. You’ll look amazing: Are you happy with the shape and size of your body? Regular exercise works wonders on your physique. Within a few weeks you’ll see shape and tone in all the right places.
Are you ready to alleviate your anxiety by taking action? Good!
Simply pick up the phone, or reply to this email, and let me know that you’re ready to get started. I have a fitness plan that’s just right for you and together we will get you into the best shape of your life.
Let’s do this :)
Coach Laura (707) 593-6002
This spinach salad tastes amazing! Spinach is an extremely nutrient-dense food, so you’ll be fueling up on important vitamins and minerals as well as healthy fiber. The recipe calls for raspberry vinegar, which is a flavorful and refreshing alternative to traditional, oily dressing. The fruit and nuts add flavor, fiber and healthy fat.
Here’s what you need:
- 8 cups cleaned spinach leaves
- 3 oranges, peeled, sliced and quartered
- 2 cucumbers, peeled sliced and quartered
- 1/8 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
- 1/8 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced or whole raspberries
- 1/2 cup white balsamic raspberry blush vinegar
- Combined the spinach, oranges, cucumbers, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds and strawberries in a bowl.
- Add the vinegar and toss well.
Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 99 calories, 3g fat, 14g carbohydrate, 2.6g fiber, and 3.5g protein.
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Here's a wonderful protein-packed snack recipe. The addition of homemade BBQ sauce takes these meatballs from regular to extraordinary. Enjoy as a power snack or throw a couple on a pile of greens for a light meal. Makes: 18
Here's what you need...
2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1/4 cup flax meal
1/2 cup onion, finely minced
2 Tablespoons coconut milk, canned, full fat
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
12 oz ground cooked ham
12 oz ground raw pork
1/3 cup coconut crystals
2/3 cup organic, no-sugar-added ketchup
3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
In a large bowl combine eggs, almond flour, flax meal, onion, coconut milk, Dijon, and pepper. Add ground ham and ground pork; mix well. Shape into 18 balls, using about 1/4 cup mixture for each ball. Place ham balls in a lightly greased 2-quart rectangular baking dish.
In a bowl combine coconut crystals, ketchup, vinegar, and Dijon. Stir until the coconut crystals dissolve. Pour a spoonful over each ham ball.
Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree F oven about 35 minutes or until done. Transfer ham balls to a serving platter and enjoy!
Nutritional Analysis: One meatball equals: 122 calories, 7g fat, 293mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, and 9g protein
Number One. Alternate alcoholic beverages with water. We've all heard it before and it seems really simple. Alternating alcoholic beverages with a glass of water will not only help keep you hydrated, it will also prevent you from consuming as many empty calories from alcohol. I understand the need to have a drink in your hand, just be wise about what's in your cup.
Number Two. Eat a snack before you go out. Do you have a late night dinner plans? A social event to go to? Eat a high-protein snack such as cottage cheese or a protein shake before you leave the house. This will prevent you from snacking on all those yummy appetizers and overeating at dinner because you waited too long to eat.
Number Three. Make working out fun. Call some girlfriends and schedule a time to catch up while working out. Go for a hike with family. Try out a new class. Get the whole family involved in physical activity like a pick up soccer game. Go for a sunset walk with your hunny.
Number Four. Plan a cheat meal. Yes, I said a cheap meal! (not a cheat day.) If you know you have a special treat to look forward to, you you won't feel guilty when it's time to enjoy it. Savor the treat. Most importantly, avoid all or nothing thinking. Just because you eat something special on the weekends doesn't mean you should go on a full-fledged junk food binge. Remember, having a cheat meal has both physiological and psychological benefits and should be part of your weight loss program.
Number Five. Practice self-care. You have been working hard to make positive changes. Let go of stress and reward your self (and your body) for all your hard work. Get a massage. Read a book in the bath tub. Spend a few extra minutes foam rolling those sore muscles. Give yourself a foot massage.
Have fun this weekend,
Napa's Weight Loss Expert
Don't get caught off guard because it's raining.
You know what happens when the weather warms up?
People put on bathing suits.
Step One: Do Some Burpees. Can burpees really help flatten your abs? You bet. Incorporate a few minutes of burpees into your workouts to burn extra calories and tighten your core.
Here's how to do a burpee: 1) Stand with feet shoulder width apart. 2) Drop to a squat with your hands on the ground. 3) Kick feet back while lowering into a push-up. 4) Return to squat position. 5) Jump up with arms overhead.
Step Two: Reduce Sodium. Did you know that salt causes water retention? Puffy skin is not going to make your abs look great in a bathing suit!
Take the time to pay attention to the sodium content of your food. Limit salt intake by not eating packaged foods and by putting down the salt shaker. Your six pack will thank you.
Step Three: Pick Up A Medicine Ball. Challenging the muscles of your core with resistance is a proven way to create a tighter midsection. The medicine ball is a wonderful tool to provide such resistance.
Do a sit-up holding a medicine ball at your chest then throw it to a partner as you raise your chest toward your knees; or hold a medicine ball with arms straight up in the air as you do crunches.
Step Four: Load Up On Fiber. Wonder how fiber could help you shed pounds and look great on the beach? It's actually quite simple.
High fiber foods are nutrient dense and low in calories. This means that you'll feel full from fewer calories, encouraging weight loss. Try these high fiber favorites: spinach, raspberries, pear (with skin), artichoke, peas, apples (with skin), broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and carrots. Check out the high-fiber recipe for pasta salad below.
Step Five: Crank Out Some V-Sits. One of the most problematic areas for women, when it comes to baring it all in a bathing suit, are the sides of your waist, or obliques. This is partly because the sides of your abs are not challenged with traditional crunches and sit-ups.
Enter the oblique V-Sits. Target that problematic, muffin-top area with this effective move. 1) Lie on your side with legs straight and hands behind your head. 2) Raise your arms and legs simultaneously, while exhaling and squeezing your obliques. 3) Repeat on the other side.
Step Six: Eat Lots Of Lean Protein. Don't be afraid to eat when you are on the get-great-abs-quickly plan. It is really important that you are nourishing your body with quality, lean protein in order to develop that six-pack.
Lean protein helps support muscle growth while controlling blood sugar – all important factors when it come to washboard abs. Good sources of protein include: chicken breast, ground turkey, egg whites, and grilled fish.
Step Seven: Do Some Hanging Leg Raises. Now it's time to target your lower abs, which are also a problem area for most. Traditional crunches and sit-ups neglect to strengthen and tighten the lower part of your abs, so a focused effort is required.
Hanging Leg Raises are one of the most effective ways to strengthen your abdominals. 1) Hang from pull-up bar with legs fully extended. 2) Exhale and drive your knees up toward your chest. 3) Inhale as you slowly lower your legs back down.
Step Eight: Stop Eating Sugar. If you only did this step, and skipped all the rest, your abs would look significantly flatter by summer. I can't emphasize enough how quickly sugar will cover your hard earned stomach muscles with a soft layer of fat.
Yes, sugar tastes good, but indulging in it causes your body to store layers of fat. Enjoy fresh fruit, rather than refined sugar. Once you stop eating sugar your body will no longer crave it, so don't give in to the initial cravings.
Step Nine: Do Some Mountain Climbers. Here's an exercise that is intensely cardiovascular while also working your core. Add these to your routine to really whittle down your waistline.
Here's how to do a Mountain Climber: 1) Get into push-up position. 2) Exhale as you alternately drive your knees in toward your chest, keeping your back flat.
Step Ten: Pass On The Grains. Sure, whole grains are being touted as essential to a healthy diet, but the truth is that you'll do just fine without them for a while. Even the heartiest wholegrain bread will encourage fat storage, so put down the breadbasket as you prepare for beach season.
Grains are full of insulin-spiking carbohydrates - the perfect combination for fattening you up. Learn to love grain-free meals that center around lean meats and vegetables.
Step Eleven: Do Some Sprints. High intensity bursts of cardio are a proven way to burn away layers of fat, so incorporate sprints into your exercise routine. If you haven't run for a while, take it easy as you start, and gradually increase the intensity of your sprints.
Run 60-90 second sprints in between resistance training sets to really kick your fat burning mechanism into high gear.
Step Twelve: Start A Professional Fitness Program. You wouldn't try to file corporate tax returns without the assistance of your CPA, so why would you attempt to transform your body without the help of a professional? I'm here to get you into your ideal, fit body in the shortest amount of time possible. It's what I do, and I'm good at it.
Contact me about my tummy flattening programs that will get you those washboard abs that you're wishing for. Call or email today to get started.
You mean besides my assistant, baby Dean?
1.) Tons of organic fruits and vegetables
2.) Full-fat organic dairy - I esp. love kiefer for a post workout treat and cottage cheese for a filling after dinner snack
3.) Grass fed meats and eggs
4.) Vega plant based protein powder and bars - I use these post workout or for breakfast on the go
5.) Wild caught frozen fish - I always buy frozen because its frozen when it's the freshest, right after after it's caught. Fish from the meat counter previously frozen but has been defrosted a while. This way I can keep my fish fresh until I''m ready to use it
6.) Bulk bin nuts, seeds and whole grains
7.) Arctic Zero frozen dessert - only 35 cal a serving, protein powder and no added sugar (sweetened with chicory root) make this a guilt free frozen treat! Here is a recipe to make your own
8.) Dave's Killer Bread - while I don't eat bread myself, I get this whole food option for Dan and Dean's french toast
9.) Frozen vegetables - a huge time saver, frozen vegetables can have more nutrients than fresh ones that have been sitting around in your fridge for a week
10.) BUSTED! Dan's kettle chips :)
Have you checked out my post on making a weekly shopping plan to save time on preparing vegetables on week nights?
Happy Shopping, Coach Laura
In order to create new healthy habits around food, you have to change your thinking.
Plain and simple, when you restrict foods, you end up craving them. When you inevitably indulge in those cravings, you feel guilty.
I have already screwed up my diet so I might as well make it worth it!
Now you eat the entire pizza. And maybe some ice cream. You feel even worse, plagued with guilt. You promise yourself you will do better next time.
We already know that diets don't work! Instead of focusing on taking away foods, you need to change your thinking:
Stop labeling foods as “good” or “bad”
o Eliminating foods makes them the focus
Stop stressing about making poor nutritional choices
o “All or Nothing” Thinking
Give yourself permission to enjoy food
o Enjoy all food in moderation
o Learn what a serving size looks like
Instead of dieting, try focusing on foods that nourish your body, give you energy and make you feel good.
When I take time to eat a hearty breakfast, I am more productive until lunch.
When I eat protein in the afternoon, I have more energy when I get home to spend time with my kids.
The more nutritious foods you eat, the less you will want high-calorie/low nutrition foods. We want to avoid the diet trap of saying "I want this but I can't have it." Instead of classifying foods as "good" or "bad" I want you to focus on adding high nutrition foods into your diet.
Now go out there and make positive change! You can do it, I believe in you!
xoxo, Coach L
I am constantly using this exercise with my weight loss coaching clients. When my clients are struggling with change and begin to list off everything they are doing wrong, I remind them of what they are doing right. Making change is hard!
-When you make a mistake, remind yourself of all the positive changes you have already made
-Don’t beat yourself up for something that happened in the past
-Ask yourself what you are proud of?
-Use setbacks as a chance to examine what isn’t working and to identify barriers for change
Client Jane: “I have been really bad this week. I didn’t eat any of my snacks. I was too busy to exercise. I just don’t know what’s wrong with me. I want to lose weight, but I just can’t seem to change anything!”
Me: “How long have you been skipping meals and living a sedentary lifestyle?”
Jane: “A long time. I haven’t exercised regularly since college. Ever since I had my kids 10 years ago, I’m just too busy to eat.”
Me: “It sounds like you have been engaging in your current habits for over a decade. New habits take time and it’s unfair to beat yourself up when things don’t change overnight. What did you do differently this week?”
Jane: “I was able to drink my water almost every day.”
Me: “And I see from your food journal that you have been eating breakfast consistently for the past three weeks! You have made two new healthy habits. I’m proud of you! It seems like making time for snacks is challenging for you. What can you keep in your purse for a healthy snack on the go?”
Jane: “ I like Kind bars. I think they are a whole food.”
Me: “Great! Your goal for this week is to order a box from Amazon and keep a few in your purse, office and car.”
Turn a Negative into a Positive Exercise
Start with what went right…
Name two things you have accomplished recently you are proud of?
Write down at least one positive change you have made in the past month.
Looking at what went wrong…
You didn’t fail because something is wrong with you or because you are weak willed. Understanding why you were not able to change is an important part of letting go of guilt and finding manageable changes.
What change were you trying to make?
Why were you not able to make it?
What can you do differently in the future to break down your barriers for change?
Try this exercise out the next time you are feeling bad about yourself and your weight loss attempts. And most importantly, ask for help when you need it. I'm here for you!
Your personal weight loss coach, Coach Laura
Most chicken salad recipes contain loads of mayonnaise or dairy products, but not this one. A simple can of coconut milk makes this salad deliciously creamy while roasted chiles, fresh cilantro, sweet fruit and crunchy pecans really bring the flavor. Serve on large butter lettuce leaves.
Makes: 8 Servings
Here's what you need...
For the Creamy Coconut Dressing:
1 (14oz) can coconut milk, full fat
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
lemon zest (all you can get from one small lemon)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
For the Salad:
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1 cup red grapes, halved
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 apple, finely chopped
4oz can mild chopped green chiles
1 lb roasted chicken, chopped
For the Creamy Coconut Dressing: Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk well and then set in the fridge to chill while you prepare the salad.
For the Salad: Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Add the creamy coconut dressing and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with large lettuce leaves and Dijon mustard.
Nutritional Analysis: 286 calories, 20g fat, 80mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 19g protein