Monday, February 17, 2014

The secret to keeping avocados fresh

So we all know avocados are DELICIOUS and eating them in moderation is hard, especially when it's difficult to keep the leftovers from turning brown!  I have gotten a few tips and made my own discover this evening on keeping them as fresh and bright as possible!

When you slice them open always eat the side with the core NOT left inside it. The core is what helps keep the avocado fresh.  Scoop out what you will be using and then put the avocado back together and wrap it up air tight-- but BEFORE putting the halves back together first take some fresh lemon juice and rub it on the inside of the avocado (not on the outer skin but on the actual fruit). The acidity of the lemons will help keep it fresh. When wrapping up the avocado I usually wrap it in plastic wrap tight or put it in a plastic bag. Usually I'll do both just to be safe :)

Tonight when making my fiesta sweet potato I made a discovery! As I went to the fridge to get my leftover avocado I was SHOCKED to find it looking completely fresh without ANY brown on it.  What I found was that if you put the leftover avocado in the fridge in the drawer or compartment that you keep your lemons, they will stay REALLY fresh! This avocado was in the fridge for 3 days and BARELY started turning brown. I'm still amazed.
Another tip for home made guacamole is if you are preparing it ahead of time, add the cores of the avocados to the bowl of guacamole, cover it tight with plastic wrap (pressing the plastic so it is touching the guac, keeping as much air from getting to it as possible). Simply remove the cores when you are ready to serve the guacamole! 

If your avocados or guacamole dishes do turn brown, simply remove the top layer and the rest should be perfectly fine!  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

It wasn't until last summer that I decided to finally try a sweet potato and I'm so glad that I did! I used to think the only way to eat them was covered in marshmallows and brown sugar--> Not the best way to trim your waist. SO I ventured out, found some awesome recipes and realized that these orange spuds are actually REALLY good for you! Here's what they offer:

Fiber--Sweet potatoes have about 7 grams of fiber per serving--twice as much as other potato varieties. What does more fiber mean? Slow release rate of glucose into the blood, keeping blood sugar levels balanced.

Beta Carotene: Rich in antioxidants, beta carotene, or Vitamin A, is useful in the prevention of several different types of cancer.  One sweet potato has an entire daily allowance of vitamin A and is one of the most potent antioxidants there are.  Beta Carotene also helps with skin protection from sun damage and helps prevent vision loss and macular degeneration.  

Vitamin C and E: These antioxidants aid in disease prevention and longevity. Both vitamins play a huge role in the health and beauty of hair and skin. 

Vitamin B6: This heart healthy vitamin keeps arteries clear and flexible, helping increase blood flow.  

Potassium: Helps lower blood pressure by ridding the body of excess sodium and regulates body fluids. This electrolyte helps regulate the natural beating rhythm of the heart and maintains normal function of the central nervous system.

Manganese:  A trace mineral that helps metabolize carbohydrates supporting proper blood sugar levels.  This stabilizes appetite for a long period of time unlike other carbs.  Manganese plays an important role in the generation of energy and utilization of antioxidants. 

There are many different ways to cook a sweet potato. My favorite way to prep them is the baked option. Boiling or steaming is more beneficial to getting all of the health benefits that sweet potatoes offer.  Honestly, it doesn't matter how you cook them, keep the toppings clean and healthy and stick to wholesome clean recipes.  All of my favorite ways to eat a sweet potato can be found in the Eat Clean Recipe's page.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Running Tips & Training Plans

When taking up running as a sport or hobby you have to learn proper tips and tricks to having a successful run.  When you are aware of these tips your run will not only go smoother, be injury free, but will also get you to the finish line faster! 

When committing to running a race a training plan is key to a successful and injury free experience. Whether it is your first race or your 50th, you need to be prepared and ready!  If there is one thing that I have learned after running six+ half marathons it is that you HAVE to train! Here are some beginner plans for a 5k race (3.1 miles), a 10K race (6.2 miles) and a half marathon (13.1 miles). Follow these tips and training plans and you will have a strong run any time!

Shoes!--For all my shoe girls out there here's a good reason to go out and buy a new pair! Proper footwear is crucial when it comes to pounding the pavement or the trails.  Forget your big sporting goods store and head over to your local running shop! These people are SPECIALISTS! Your foot strike is like your finger print.  If it's a minimalist shoe, supportive sole, or neutral base the folks at your running shop will find you a specific shoe just for you! Not saying you have to spend big bucks here but at least these pros will guide in what exactly you should be looking for!
--Signs it's time for new shoes--
+Shin splints 
+Achilles tendon soreness/pain 
+Knee soreness/pain

The maximum number of miles that you should put on any pair of running or walking shoes is 500 miles! Which brings me to the next tip...

Keep track of your runs!
Know the distances you're going.  I usually plan out my routes in my head, ESPECIALLY when I'm training for a race!  Knowing how far you go and how you feel during and after are very helpful when it comes to upping your distance, changing your terrain and increasing your incline! I'm not saying do this EVERY time you run because hey, I like to just lace up and go too, but be mindful of your mileage! One of my favorite apps is Map My Run. It tells you your pace, distance and more!

Gear up! Make the investment in some good technical fabric gear.  There are tons of brands out there that make gear for every season in this amazing fabric!  The wicking technology helps keep you dry and reduces your chances of chaffing. Ditch the cotton, you'll be glad you did!

Fuel Up! Fueling your new found hobby is very important! Like the old saying goes, "You can't drive the car without putting gas in it first." If it is a shorter run early in the morning a banana could work depending on the distance and person.  A good rule is to eat 200-400 calories of complex carbs before heading out to give you the energy you need and ensure digestion.  Digestion usually slows or stops during running so that meal before heading out will just be sitting in there!  Or worse it could give you an upset stomach! To give me better energy before I go for a long run or race I drink P90X Energy & Endurance formula.  I drink that 30 minutes before I start my run to give me a natural boost! For races I bring a packet of the E&E formula so I am able to drink it just before I cross the starting line!  Every runner is different so it will mainly be a matter of trial and error.  For longer runs you need more fuel.  Eat clean and be smart about it and you should have no problems!

HYDRATE! Being properly hydrated is just as important as being properly fueled! Drinking about 20 oz an hour before your run or race should be plenty. This gives it time to pass through your system.  Listen to your body and hydrate while running if needed.  When runs go over 45-60 minutes you need to replenish your electrolytes.  I steer clear of Gatorade, GU and other sports drinks and artificial supplements because of their lack in nutrition.  I use P90X Results and Recovery formula to replenish what I lost during running.  During a race I bring along a packet of P90X Results and Recovery with me to dump in a quick cup of water.

Warm Up and Stretch! Before starting your run or any workout for that matter do a few minutes of ballistic stretching.  This warms up your muscles and gets them ready for action which in turn will prevent injury.  Stretching your body after a run or workout is crucial for proper recovery.  Do your static stretching while your muscles are still warm when you're finished to fully benefit your body!

When it comes down to it listen to your body!  Go with a plan, be prepared and most importantly HAVE FUN!!

Monday, February 3, 2014

The 21 Day Fix is HERE!

The 21 Day Fix Details
Get it February 3rd 2014 from ME as your COACH!!

What is 21 Day Fix™?

21 Day Fix is a three week fitness and nutrition program that is simple to follow and easy for anyone whether you want to lose 15 lbs or 100 lbs. With a portion control system and 30 minute workouts this program takes the guesswork OUT of losing weight and will get you feeling amazing in just 21 days!!  If you’re looking for something that is simple, easy to follow, and gets you results FAST this is the program for you! Whether you want to jump start your weight-loss journey or are looking to fit into that bikini on your next vacation-21 Day Fix is the answer to IT ALL!!

Why the 21 Day Fix™?
Because it is simple and stress free.  There is no counting calories or points, no logging foods into trackers and no need to weigh any foods.  Everything is laid out for you with the easy to follow, color coded container system.  If you follow the portion control system and do your daily 30 minute workouts you will be floored with the results you can achieve in just three weeks time!

What makes the 21 Day Fix™ different?
Because it combines the most critical part of weight-loss and health, nutrition, WITH top notch workouts. With equal focus on portion control and daily workouts, whether you want to lose 10 lbs or 100 lbs the 21 Day Fix can do it for you!  If your weight has fluctuated or you’ve had a hard time maintaining a healthy weight, this program makes it EASY for sustainable, long term weight loss.

Autumn Calabrese, your very own personal trainer:
As a personal trainer, national bikini competitor, single mom you can be sure Autumn is BUSY.  She developed a simple container system for portion control.  At lunch with her good friend and client they were discussing why her client was not getting the results she desired.  She was eating healthy and doing her workouts but was at a dead end.  That was when the salad she ordered showed up at the table. Her friend ate the entire salad which was over 1300 calories.  That’s when it hit Autumn.  Although it’s healthy, people need help eating the right portions of the healthy food. Autumn makes your time in the kitchen simple and fast.  With an easy to follow container system and simple recipes and tips, you are sure to lose weight, feel great, and get on with your day.  As a busy single mom she knows what it’s like to feel as if there is no time to work out and have to eat on the go.  No more jam packed days stressing about workouts and nutrition. Life just got easier.

What you get with the 21 Day Fix™:

Essential Package:
• 7 color-coded portion-control containers
• Shakeology® shaker cup
• 6 easy-to-follow 30-minute workouts
• 21 Day Fix Start Here quick-start guide and workout calendar
• 21 Day Fix Eating Plan that shows you exactly how to use your containers and the best foods to put in them
• 3 Day Quick Fix Guide, Autumn's secret weapon for fast weight loss
• Dirty 30 bonus workout

Upgrade to the Ultimate kit and receive:
Everything included in the essentials kit PLUS
• 2 Bonus Ultimate workouts: Flat Abs Fix and Barre Legs
• 1 Pro-Grade Resistance Band
• Insulated Tote Bag
• Large on-the-go Container

What equipment is needed?
Dumbbells or a resistance band is used in some of the workouts.
A yoga mat and Beachbody® miniMAT are helpful but not required for the program.  

Can I only do the portion control nutrition or do I have to do the workouts too?
This program is designed for balance between eating healthy and fitness. To achieve your desired results in 21 days, we recommend completing the program how it is designed.  If you are worried about the workouts being too much, there is a modifier. Rather than skipping the workouts all together, follow the modifier and do what you can.  You will feel stronger in no time. 

What are the workouts like?
The workouts are simple, effective and fun.  There is so much variety and each move is only done for 60 seconds—no room for boredom here. You get a total body workout every day, for 30 minutes. There is a modifier to help you stick with it while you build your strength and endurance, but you are still getting an awesome workout. These workouts have you consistently burning calories, and burning more long after you have finished your workout.  Unlike a treadmill and elliptical machine, you keep your body guessing and accomplish great results in little time.

What are the workouts?
7 workouts on 2 DVDs (VHS not available)
Total Body Cardio Fix
Upper Fix
Lower Fix
Pilates Fix
Cardio Fix
Yoga Fix
Dirty 30 workout**

Can I use food storage containers I already have at home?
Unfortunately, NO! These containers are designed specifically for certain foods and the right portions. The containers provided are custom designed specifically for the 21 Day Fix. To ensure you get the best results, use these containers provided with the program!

Can I eat out still?
Absolutely! There is even a restaurant guide included to help you stay on track while you are out!

Do I have to deprive myself?
NO! This program is all about moderation.  When you eat the right portions you can still enjoy the foods you love, including chocolate and WINE! You can still have treats and still lose weight!

Are you ready for results like these? If so fill out this form and let's do this together!! Why go at it alone when you can get some awesome support and accountability, all online, at your own convenience!