Lose Weight Successfully With a Fitness Journal

If you want to lose weight or you’re just interested in getting in shape, a fitness journal can be your key to success.

Much like a personal diary a journal is the one place where you can share all of your dreams and goals and at the same time create a plan to make those aspirations a real part of your life.

I’m sure by now, you know that in order to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume. Keeping a fitness journal can be a fun way to assess your current eating and exercise habits and formulate a strategy to reduce calories while increasing your physical activity.

Start your fitness journal by recording your current weight and measurements, if you like, you can even add a current photo of yourself. This is your starting point, so make sure you take the time to complete this important step. Months from now when your body is changing, you’ll be able to look back and see how much you have achieved. Once this base is established it will provide the motivation you need to keep you going.

Motivation or the lack thereof, can be the driving force behind your exercise program or the biggest obstacle in your efforts to lose weight. As a personal trainer who specializes in women’s fitness, I have found that women who keep a fitness journal have a far greater chance of success than those who do not.

You see a fitness journal makes you accountable for your weight loss plan. Once you’ve established your starting point and written down your goals, you’ll want to make some time everyday to record everything you eat and drink. That means everything. You many even be surprised when you realize how much food you consume.

Once you begin coming face to face with your food consumption, you’ll be able to determine which foods to keep in your diet and which foods you need to replace with healthier substitutes. There is a certain connection that your brain will make when you put pen to paper and become responsible for your own health. It’s easy to fool yourself into thinking that you are eating a somewhat healthy diet when you keep these thoughts locked away in your mind.

Along with recording your eating habits, you’ll want to write down your daily physical activities. Are you exercising regularly? For optimum women’s health you’ll need to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day for 6 days of the week. You can use your journal to determine your fitness level and increase it gradually for best results.

Challenge your fitness workout by making goals each week. For instance, you could set a goal to add more weights to your exercise program or to take longer walks, swim more laps, take a spinning class or learn to play tennis. The secret is to write down anything and everything that will keep you motivated to exercise regularly and eat healthy.

You can get the body that you desire, all it takes is a desire to succeed followed by a commitment to see it through. But the good thing is you don’t have to do it by yourself. Faithfully keeping your fitness journal will keep you focused on your goals and give you the motivation you need to excel.

Building Fitness Requires Muscle and Nutrition

If people are at all aware of what is going on around them, then they also have heard that building fitness in their body is an important way to assure good health, even as they move through the aging process. However, there still is a common misunderstanding that people have about being skinny and equating this to being in good physical condition. Continue reading

How to Brew a Great Cup of Coffee Every Time

Coffee is truly one of the pleasures of life. Not only can it pick you up in the afternoon, but the taste can be pure enjoyment. First, though, you need to know a few things in order to brew a great cup of coffee in your own home.

Beans

Great-tasting coffee starts with the best beans and a good coffee grinder. The burr type of grinder is the best. It can operate at slower speeds so your coffee beans are not subject to heat buildup as they are being ground.

With good coffee beans, a burr grinder, and an above average coffee maker, you can make a great cup of coffee at home that equals anything bought at a coffee house. The only other expense you will experience is any syrups or creamers you choose to put in. You’ll still be saving a lot of money by making your coffee at home.

What are the best beans to buy? What’s the difference between arabica and robusta, the two basic coffee species?

Arabica

There are two basic coffee variants: one is the traditional arabica, and the other is robusta coffee.

The shrubs that produce arabica coffee beans were said to have been planted by the descendants of the Queen of Sheba, who came from Ethiopia, where Coffea arabica originates. Arabica beans tend to have less caffeine and milder flavor than robusta. In fact robusta coffee beans have twice the caffeine.

Arabica coffee beans are considered to be superior in quality than robusta. All gourmet coffee beans are created from selected Arabic coffee beans.

Robusta

Robusta is used as an inexpensive substitute for arabica in commercial coffee blends and in almost all instant coffee products. Robusta of finer quality are used in espresso blends for a foamy effect and for better affordability.

High quality robusta is also used to blend espresso for more bite, and to lower costs. Robusta can be grown in climates and environments were arabica would not be profitable.

Not all robusta coffee is less expensive. Some robusta blends include the very popular Jamaican Blue Mountain and the Hawaiian Kona coffees which are so much in demand that they command a higher price.

Most Italian coffee is brewed very strong from the lower quality robusta bean, which might suggest why Italy gave us such innovations as cappuccino (coffee with steamed milk) and flavored coffees

Conclusion

There’s more to enjoying a good cup of coffee than grinding some beans, throwing them into a coffee maker, and drinking the result. To be able to truly enjoy a cup of coffee, start with a burr coffee grinder, an above-average coffee maker, and experiment with different flavors and blends of the best gourmet coffee.

It is Easy to Follow Simple Pear and Chocolate Tart Recipe

Baking used to be something which was popular and almost every girl was taught how to bake and cook. These days it seems that the art of baking is fading away and many people find it difficult to manage even the simplest cooking. This is why I was glad to see my nephew trying out some baking in the holidays and he produced some amazing results by following an easy clotted cream recipe along with a homemade toffee apples recipe. This is the simplest pear and Pear and Chocolate Tart Recipe which he perfected. Continue reading

Know the terms boiling in Western recipes

MOST you still equate boiling technique between poaching, simmering, and boiling. Indeed, the difference between them just a little. However, for certain dishes are also different techniques used.

Here’s an explanation of each technique boil water which is often mentioned in Western recipes, as reviewed Whatscookingamerica:

poaching
Poaching is cooking food by immersing into the liquid just to a boil. Poaching is not boiling, generally used for the food completely submerged in the liquid is kept at a constant temperature and moderate, between 70-80 degrees Celsius. Keep the temperature remains constant, with a little practice. The surface of the liquid should just until it looks shiny with the possibility of a bubble.

Fluid usually cooked with this technique is that like a seasoned broth. Alternatively, soft foods, such as eggs, fish, fruit, and some organic meat stew. Food should be completely submerged in water.

Simmering (boiling at a lower temperature)

Simmering is usually done to cook the food with pieces of harder or foods that take a long time when cooked. Fluid temperature is usually between 85-95 degrees Celsius. Simmer sometimes called “soft boil”. Tiny bubbles periodically rise to the surface, gently and slowly, the temperature is lower.

You can boil to close it, but remember the temperature inside will rise and simmer pot can easily turn into a boil. Techniques normally used to make the broth simmer served as a sauce on your dish.

Boiling (boil until very boiling)

Boiled food is cooking in the boiling liquid, usually water. Boil water with a temperature of 100 degrees Celsius. No matter how long or how strong boiling bubbles are formed, the temperature will never be hotter, because at this temperature, water is converted into steam.

10 Things You Should Know About Stretching

Before fitness training, one must give importance to doing warm-up or stretching exercises to prevent accidents or to enhance the output during the training. There are also a number of precautionary measures and tips to serve as guidelines when doing fitness exercises. Here are some of them.
1. To increase your flexibility and to avoid injuries, stretch before and after workout. Almost everyone knows that stretching before workout prevents injuries during the exercises, but only few people know that stretching after workout, when muscles are still warm, can increase flexibility.

2. Hold your stretching position for more than 60 seconds to increase flexibility. While holding your position for 20 seconds is enough for warm ups, holding each position for at least 60 seconds will develop the body’s flexibility.

3. Do not go into a stretching position then immediately return to the relaxed position, and do it repeatedly. This is more appropriately termed as bouncing while in a position. When stretching, hold that position for several seconds, and then slowly relax. You may do this exercise repeatedly this way. Bouncing or forcing yourself into a position during stretching can strain or damage some joints or muscles.

4. Work slowly in increments instead of immediately proceeding to doing the hardest exercise or position.

5. Make sure that you have stretched or warmed up all muscle groups. For some people, even if they have strong bodies, they tend to neglect the neck when working out of stretching. Stretching the neck muscles can be as simple as placing the palm of one’s hand against the front of the head and pushing it. Then, do the same to the sides and the back of the head.

6. Stretch regularly to continually increase your range of movements and your level of flexibility and strength.

7. Workout considering only your capabilities and not of others. Do not force yourself to do exercises that you are not yet capable of just because there are people who can do it. Increase your limits slowly. Listen to your body. There are days when your body may be too tired that you may have to consider reducing your range of motion.

8. Learn to rest. Rest in between sets and stations to make sure that the body has enough time to recover its energy. Also, it is advisable that you don’t work the same muscle groups consecutively for two days. The muscles grow during the period when you rest and not when you are working out.

9. Do aerobic exercises to strengthen your heart. Aerobic exercises are those physical activities that much oxygen for fuel. This includes cardiovascular exercises such as skipping rope, running or swimming.

10. Music may help you when you want to train for longer periods or to increase your intensity. You can use mp3 players, CD players or lightweight am radio receivers for this. Just make sure that you brought your headset with you so you wouldn’t disturb people who don’t prefer music while exercising.

Apart from preventing injuries and increasing one’s limit, it is also said that stretching is good for a tired body and also for a stressed mind and spirit.

Raw Food Diet Detox

A diet comprised of 100% uncooked food when used for the purpose of detoxification of the body is referred to as a raw food detox diet. Detoxification or detox refers to the process of elimination of toxins, produced either internally from metabolic wastes or coming from external sources such food and environment, that get accumulated in the body over a period of time, giving rise to a host of diseases.

A raw food detox diet primarily includes vegetarian or vegan foods, though sometimes meat and fish may be allowed too if one can manage to eat them raw. Such a diet promotes the elimination of harmful substances from the body through the body’s excretory organs like kidneys, bowel and skin.

How a raw food diet detox works?

The principle behind a raw food detox diet is the belief that food in its natural uncooked form has all the vital nutrients and enzymes intact, whereas cooking by conventional methods devitalizes the food due to breakdown of these substances. In a sense, raw food is a kind of living food, with a latent life force that under appropriate conditions facilitates germination and growth of a new plant from a seed.

Advocates of the raw food diet detox believe that when the body is fed with foods that are rich in life force, digestive enzymes, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, while at the same time being deprived of devitalized and toxin-laden foods, it gets into the self-detoxification and cleansing mode.

What goes wrong during cooking?

When food is heated to temperatures above 117 ºF (47 ºC) for more than a few minutes: (i) a substantial amount of vital digestive enzymes and nutrients get destroyed; (ii) proteins get denatured and coagulated, causing deficiency of many amino acids; (iii) fats when overheated result in the formation of carcinogenic substances.

When the food is cooked in water, the water-soluble minerals get lost due to leaching (even more intensely if one adds salt while cooking), unless one uses the leftover water for gravies or soups. In fact, scientific studies have shown that many of the vegetables lose their antioxidant benefits when boiled or microwaved.

It only gets worse when it comes to ready-to-eat commercially manufactured foods, which may even contain highly detrimental substances like acrylamides. It is for all these reasons that a raw food diet has emerged as the favorite detox diet.

Confessions of a Personal Fitness Trainer

Last year I had a number of clients who started stubbornly on the Atkins diet despite my warnings. Immediately I saw almost profound results in their weight loss. I reminded them it was the loss of water weight, and warned of the strain on the kidneys and the high cholesterol risk.

During this time I was mastering my yoga practice as a complete vegan but found that my immune system had been profoundly compromised and I was currently on my third cold for the fall season.

Atkins was in the media again because of new study results indicating lowered cholesterol. I went to the Atkins book yet again with a more open mind, and decided to try the diet. I liked the contrarian view point to the current AMA position of the low fat diet, which seemed to be producing a society of increasing obesity. Atkins view of sugar as the culprit making you fat, not fat, made sense and the extra work from all the protein for the kidneys… it’s benign. I wanted to use his diet as a tool to get myself entirely off of any sugar.

I started out on the high protein, low carb aspect of the diet. As I reintroduced the animal proteins into my diet I could feel myself get stronger and the colds, finally stopped. I also saw my muscle bellies start to open and swell again. The cold of winter was not as painful as it had been while on my vegan diet.

I then summoned up the courage to start bringing fats into my diet, including bacon, egg yolks, cream cheese, heavy cream, whipped cream, even bacon rinds. On a daily basis I would marvel at having eaten these “forbidden foods” only to awaken the next day thin, svelte. I couldn’t believe this, result! I was loving eating all these foods so familiar yet banished since…childhood

I was in full swing eating the high fat, high protein, low carb diet at the time when the pictures on my website were taken. I felt strong, but I had no energy!!! My walks on the beach were lethargic, I had to force myself to go that extra mile. I was thin but I felt like a beached whale. My love affair with Atkins continued a few more months. I followed his prescriptions religiously.

Eventually I had to add more carbs, I needed more energy. By carbs I mean vegetables, salads and whole grains. At this point I gained back the total of two pounds I had lost on Atkins. Body fat went from 16% to 18%, my energy was better. After 7 months I decided it was time to get the blood checked out and to my horror discovered that my cholesterol which had always been around 150 had rocketed up to 300!! Luckily my HDL to LDL ratio was still at a healthy level. Thanks to my forcing myself to exercise, I kept my HDLs high.

I immediately started drinking hot lemon juice with cayenne pepper every morning to clean my blood. I have now thrown away all the high fat foods and have once again, come back full circle to moderation and balance. A balanced diet. It takes a little more discipline but my energy is back and I can now eat the same meals as my husband so dinner preparation is simpler. My weight has not changed since I gradually introduced the carbs. I avoid at all costs the “white foods” flour, sugar, milk. I drink unsweetened soy milk I avoid foods in packages, boxes and bags. I feel a fine layer of fat but that’s okay its winter, I need it, and in the summer, heat always melts it off. I am completely off sugar and alcohol to keep blood sugar low.

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