Tuesday, October 28, 2008

To Cleanse or not to Cleanse...that is the question

I've had a few questions about my thoughts on cleanses so I thought I'd share what I know with you. I'd love to hear your feedback and thoughts on the topic as well.
For those of you who haven't heard of the ever-popular cleanses, detox diets, and "body flushing" regimens here is a quick description. Basically it is a fasting diet that can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. The claim is that this process will rid the body of accumulated harmful substances that exert a negative effect on individual health. By omitting food, and living on a diet made up mostly of water, other liquids, lemons, and in some cases raw food, the individual flushes the toxins out of their body. Those who successfully complete the cleanse claim to have seen effects such as rapid weight loss, clearer skin, and increased energy. Sounds too good to be true? Well, in my opinion it might be. Now, let me back my opinion up by letting you know I have been studying journals and articles published on the subject to try and get the best possible answer to this question. I realize that everyone has different view points and thoughts about the subject, but here is mine :)
When going on this prolonged fast you will most likely lose weight, but it is mostly water weight. As soon as you start eating normally again your body will gain that water weight back, putting you right back where you started. Fasting for a few days can be ok, but fasting for too long can be harmful to your body. It can deplete muscle tissue, including your heart muscle, and it can reduce the size and functioning of organs like the kidney and liver. Some nutritionists even say that prolonged fasts can be counterproductive to those trying to lose weight due to the fact that it may slow your metabolism down.
Some may not cleanse to lose weight, but to rid their body of "toxins." In response to this I would say don't underestimate the body. Its more miraculous than you may realize. The body already has multiple systems in place -- including the liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract -- that do a perfectly good job of eliminating toxins from the body within hours of consumption. Increase your fiber intake, and you'll be good to go.
Lastly, many of these fasts reduce you down to eating mainly raw foods and a lot of water. Yes...of course...if you eliminate all the crap that you eat from your diet and start eating healthy foods close to their natural form you will lose weight. This is how you are supposed to be eating anyways, fancy that.
I realize there are people that swear by fasts, but I am not one of them. Some good old fashioned exercise, fiber, and healthy foods will get you feeling your best. And you won't even need to starve yourself.

Monday, October 27, 2008

this just in: Sunflower Market

I was so sad the day they closed down my favorite little health food store Harvest Fresh in Orem, but a new store called Sunflower Market just opened in Orem. I have yet to be able to go, but i've heard great things about it! They have them all over Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, and now Utah. I'm escited to check it out. They also have a great website with recipies, and weekly sales posted. It looks amazing! Check out the link to thier website HERE.

Although each location has a different link on the site for their sales some of the great deals for this week from the Orem location were...

Red and Green Bell Pepper 2 for 1$
Fuji & Jonagold apples 99 cents a lb. (amazing...)
Cucumbers 2 for $1
Red Seedless Grapes 77 cents a lb.
Hass Avocados 3 for $1

These deals go until 10/29 I'll try to keep you updated on good deals!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Snack Attack

I wrote another article for Fitness@Lunch on snacking...my favorite subject. Check it out here

Friday, October 17, 2008

Am I Alone in this?? Cause if so I'm happy to be here...

It seems that everywhere I turn there is a new frozen yogurt place popping up, and can I say i'm pretty much in LOVE with this craze!! As I've posted about before, frozen yogurt is one of my favorite treats. It's fat free, refreshing and delicious. There is usually around 90 calories per 1/2 cup which is great. I'm just glad that there are so many places to go now! Here are some of the local favorites. Give them a try :)

Hello Yogurt
Red Mango
Fro Yo
Spoon Me
Yogurt Stop
Frozen Yogurt Junction

*I am not a huge fan of the original tart flavor which i know many people love. My favorites are Hello Yogurt and Fro Yo. They offer a lot of different flavors. Of the original tart crew I like Red Mango the best. Let me know what you're faves are!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Vacation workouts?? very possible!

My apologies for the absence of posts, but my reasoning is actually my inspiration for today's post. I've been on vacation. While packing for any trip I am always torn as to whether or not I should bring my workout gear. It's another pair of shoes, another stack of clothes, do I really have room? Will I even have time? etc. I've come to realize that the answer is ALWAYS yes. Those times I've opted to not bring my gear I've almost always regretted it. Most hotels have some sort of facility that you can workout in, and even if they don't, you can make do with what is available. Go explore your new vacation surroundings! Do lunges, squats, pushups, whatever you can fit in your hotel room. Bring an exercise band and a jump rope along on the trip. They are light-weight, and easy to use. "I'll just get back into it when I get home." I have heard it a million times, and that is great. You should get back into your normal routine when you are back at home, BUT don't let everything you've worked so hard for slip. It's easy to fit in a quick workout, even on vacation. Plan for it. Include it in the itinerary. You'll be glad you did!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Up That Weight

I have touched a lot on the fact that women need to use adequate weight when they are lifting in order to continue to progress and to see the results they are looking for, but I've found it's something that women continue to worry about. When you are lifting weights you don't necessarily have to be sore whenever you work out, but you want to make sure you're pushing yourself every time. After all, if you're going to go through the motion you might as well do a good job of it. When you're lifting weights aim to do 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions. By the time you get to your 12th repetition you want to make sure it's difficult for you. If you feel like you are easily getting to 12 every time, up that weight! Even if you can only get 8 in with a higher weight it will be worth your while. Pushing your muscle to exhaustion will get those muscles tones! You WILL NOT, i repeat, WILL NOT get "huge." Women physiologically can't. Your arms won't get bigger they'll actually get smaller and more toned. So, push yourself. It will be worth it!

Friday, October 3, 2008

I heart my Bosu Ball. You should too...

You may have seen this space ship looking apparatus at your local gym. If you are looking for a great way to change up your workouts grab yourself a Bosu Ball, and go crazy. The basic idea behind the Bosu is; it forces you to use your core muscles in addition to whatever muscles you're working. Ie: When doing squats on top of the Bosu you have to engage your abs in order to keep your balance. It is amazing how you can increase your difficulty level by making the ground beneath you a little shaky. You'll intensify your workout, work your core, improve your balance, and fight boredom. All great things! Trust me. The Bosu is awesome.