Posts Tagged ‘Family+Fitness’
Looking to get fit? Looking to live leaner and look better? Looking to get more energy? How many of you believe that you have to cut out bread in order to look better? Guess what. Your health can still benefit from bread, even in today’s society of junk food, processed food, and fast food. Well, which really works for you when it comes to bread? There are three choices you are left to when trying to live a fitness lifestyle, which DOES require that you watch the types of foods you consume. Which of the following sounds best? These are your bread consumption alternatives:
- Eat a full-fledged no-bread diet for the rest of your life
- Eat “bad” bread and get unhealthy from it
- Or finally, make better choices in bread so you can KEEP BREAD as a part of your food regimen, and still chow down on a sandwich now and then.
I elect choice number 3! I’m not really a big bread eater, to be honest, but the realities are that anyone likes a piece of toast or a sandwich from time to time, if not every day. Most parents who send their kids to school use sandwiches as the staple part of their children’s lunches. I make colorful salads with free-range/organic-fed chicken along with fruits and veggies for my children, but sometimes, they like to have a wild-caught tuna sandwich or a good old fashioned PB&J (with organic natural PB & J, of course).
Whether it’s a lean meat, tuna, or vegan sandwich, the type of bread will constitute the “healthy” in that “nutritious sandwich,” so there are a list of important factors to consider when selecting breads for your healthy living choices. There are basically four types of breads. Those four breads will impact all the considerable factors you want to know about if you want to keep bread in your daily diet. The health factors to consider when you are eating anything really, especially bread, are:
- glycemic index (how the carbohydrates in the food impact your blood sugar levels- especially important for diabetics)
- fat content (especially consider the amount of saturated fats, as this can affect weight, heart condition, cholesterol)
- toxic or artificial ingredients (look out for toxic additives, corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and preservatives)
- vitamin and nutrient content
- fiber content
- caloric content (important consideration for those trying to lose weight- but this is the LEAST of your concerns)
Here are the four breads you have to choose from at all times, and these notes will help you consider what is genuinely going to be best for you, considering the factors above:
Enriched Flour (Wheat or otherwise) Wheat Bread- A processed flour which is so processed that it has been horribly stripped of it’s most nourishing nutrients and vitamins, thus requiring an “enriching” process whereby nutrients and vitamins have been added back in. This bread is generally very unhealthy, because you never know what chemicals were used in the processing of those grains. Such processes include the use of bleach in an effort to strip, clean, and break down the grains into flour, not different than making white bread. High glycemic, toxic, chemically enhanced, and usually contains corn syrup to enhance taste and may contain hydrogenated oils.
Sprouted Grain Bread- Grains that are soaked in water until they have sprouted and can then maintain their vitamins, nutrient, and nutritional property (protein) value. The sprouted grains are crushed and used to make bread. Higher and more natural source of nutrition, fiber, and protein. Sprouted grain breads are much lower on the glycemic index than all other breads, thus making this a very healthy bread for diabetics, weight-loss candidates, and those looking for a healthy alternative for their delightful sandwiches without the fat storage that results from eating most breads on a daily basis.
Whole Grain Bread- Also a decent alternative to enriched or white breads, whole grain breads are delicious, tend to be more natural, and can be appreciated for their lack of processing. Although they are higher on the glycemic index, they tend to be more whole and natural, excluding junk ingredients like corn syrup and hydrogenated oils- the worst contents outside of the bleach used to break down processed grains. You can get these breads with high fiber and high protein content, if you are really on the lookout, and it is cheaper than sprouted grain bread, but not as cheap at the lame alternatives like enriched or white.
White Bread- Do I really need to go into why this is the WORST POSSIBLE BREAD TO CONSUME- EVER! It’s white because it’s bleached! Gross! The grains that comprise these breads are so processed and stripped and, again, bleached, that they are not even grains by the time they go into your body. They are loaded with corn syrups, sugars, hydrogenation, and more garbage. Just read the ingredients, and look up the processes for yourself. They are simply a taste-bud stimulating chemical, void of any nutritional value whatsoever.
My favorite of all breads is the famous Ezekiel Bread. I love this stuff! Low GI (Glycemic Index), high in protein, high in nutrition, dense and grainy texture, with easy to digest and assimilate proteins, vitamins, nutrients, and naturally occurring amino acids. Another new one I’ve found is Dave’s Killer Bread. USDA Organic Dave’s Bread is delicious, my kids absolutely love it, and we can count on integrity and protein and low glycemic index. These three things are especially important for my household because my son has no pancreas, and is consequently diabetic. Protein and GI are important for diabetics. I myself, like to stay looking and feeling fit, and staying lean and energetic, so these breads in limited amounts (maybe once or twice a week) work best for me also. Finally, I also am itching to try this new Paleo Bread. This stuff is all natural, low glycemic, high protein, and they even have a low-carb version!
So, keep your bread. Eat toast! Eat sandwiches! Enjoy your grains in a healthy way. Let me know your results here at nitasworld.
Be well, Be You, BE PHENOMENAL!
-Nita Lee Marquez
I have been in the fitness industry since 1998, and in that time, I have taken baby steps at some points, and leaped strides in others. Knowing that I grew up with weight struggles and many addictive behaviors, many people have asked me what has been most difficult for me to change in living more fit over the years. To that, I always say that the food has been the biggest challenge to overcome, but overcome it, I have! If I can change from a processed and fast food lifestyle to living fit with my three beautiful children, I know anyone is capable of it.
There are steps, not always big steps, that can create big change. Here are some great tips for a quick change in both your physical appearance as well as your energy levels:
1) Drink at least a gallon of water daily
You don’t have to drink it all at once! Just carry around a liter bottle and drink & refill it 4 times, and that will be an easier way to manage your intake.
Start with 1-2 liters daily, and gradually increase from there. Trust me, you will crave more, the more you drink, if you drink water in these amounts consistently.
The more water you drink, the more you will pee, most definitely, but you will flush out toxic build-up, thereby increasing your energy levels!
2) Pull the high-sodium foods
Traditionally known amongst fitness experts and nutritionists, we say that one “cheat” day per week makes sense. You won’t cause much damage that one day, and eventually, you may not even want as much “junk” on your cheat day as you have starting out.
High sodium foods include:
- canned foods (unless noted as “no salt added” – even the “low-sodium” soups and canned foods still have a lot of sodium if you’re someone who is trying to manage their weight or blood pressure).
- processed foods, like frozen tv dinners, burritos, pizzas, even Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig and Nutri-System have TONS of sodium in their meal packets and frozen meals.
- packaged foods, like anything out of a bag or a box, tends to have a higher than desired sodium content.
- jarred foods, like pickles, salsas or anything else that is out of the jar, ready-to-eat
- condiments & sauces, like ketchup, bbq sauces, dressings, even mayonnaise has a lot of sodium most of the time!
- dairy, like milk, yogurt, some ice creams, butter, fake butter
I’m certainly not saying that you should completely cut these foods out of your diet, but if you are trying to manage weight or blood pressure, most often some of the excess weight can be dropped by pulling sodium and drinking more water. This is due to the fact that the first 8-20 pounds of weightloss on everyone tends to be water weight, and if you can just cut back on these foods that cause the water-retention, while drinking more water, you can usually lose that water weight quickly. The less junk you eat with sodium, the less water you’ll hold, and the less water you hold, the less lethargic you will feel.
These foods are simply something that you can, in baby steps, begin to cut back on and eventually eliminate, and the water is simply a rule of thumb that you can work up to, from the suggested 1-2 liters daily. The health tips can remedy blood pressure issues, weight management challenges, energy levels, skincare issues, and bloated stomachs. Try it, and feel free to post to this blog or email me at nitasworld.com.
That’s my tip for today! Remember to Be Well, Be You, BE PHENOMENAL! You are Worth the Work!
-Nita Lee Marquez
Believe it or not, cellulite is not a result of just being fat or flabby. Cellulite is a major stress to most women, because we are the only ones who really get cellulite. The dimply, loose, cottage cheese appearance of those areas of cellulite are not even caused just by age.
The reality is that cellulite is a result of the bands of connective tissue in a woman’s body running in a different direction than our skin. By nature that skin can stretch, disconnect and collect fat more readily than a man’s body. Some people think it’s a matter of the nature of things, and that maybe God himself made us to collect fat more easily for the purposes of carrying life within us. Whereas, a man’s connective tissue runs more along with the skin, allowing for better binding from the skin to the connective tissue, which in nature would directly affect their bodies support to muscularity, rather than fat storage. Some would say that it’s because by nature men were intended to be hunter gatherers. Who knows?? The bottom line is they don’t get cellulite.
In the fact that men are generally more muscular, and traditionally are hunter gatherers, I wonder if there may be some truth to the lifetime(s) of conditioning that you see in people whose bodies don’t typically carry cellulite. What I’ve noticed over the years for myself, as opposed to the women in my family, is that because I cross train (weight training combined with running, hiking, plyometrics, and dance/gymnastics) and eat a high protein diet, I have conditioned my body for a more muscular toned look. Whereas the women in my family are all very beautiful and soft-skinned, and they all retained their youth quite well through the aging process, they still struggle tremendously with cellulite. Since I’m genetically pre-disposed to cellulite (yes, the cellulite is going to happen, but how bad it can get is often contingent to our genetics), I still fight it, but the fact is because I weight train, I am constantly working the muscles for conditioning, so I appear to have very little cellulite in comparison to my genetic precedents.
Cellulite is a result of the direction of connective tissue in a woman’s body. You cannot change the direction of your connective tissue, as it will always run opposite the skin. Nothing will ever change that we can get cellulite. Also, you cannot alter the genetic ancestry you possess within your family’s lines. If the women have tons of cellulite, you are inheriting that genetic code. However, there are things you can do to condition the genetic code you have toward cellulite, and I know because I have done it myself.
If you weight train, you increase connective tissue activity so that it does not worsen, but can get better with age through constant conditioning. In this case, it’s a lifestyle to workout daily, not an option. That’s the reality. In addition to weight training, you have to do other things to exercise so that you are stimulating collagen production (which also aids in skin health and the ability to visibly reduce cellulite). If you get your body used to doing the exact same things with the muscles all the time, then the lack of versatility causes complacency within our muscles and connective tissue. Thus you must always be changing activities, mixing and matching, along with your weight training (which should be your core focus if you want to reduce cellulite).
Cardio and interval training help your body in the fat burning and high-calorie burning department, and they enhance weight training on whatever level you do any of this. Thus, what I have learned for myself is that running, sprinting, dancing, plyometrics (jumping and explosive and agility training), hiking, step mill, stairmaster, elliptical, and hanging out walking at events with my kiddos, have all been really effective. Effectively, all of the aforementioned activities coinciding with weight training have helped me to condition my genetic code in such a way that I don’t struggle as much with cellulite as the women in my family, and I’ve struggled even less with the war on cellulite as I have gotten older (I’m now 39).
On top of the collagen and the connective tissue activity stimulation, some other ways that women can avoid cellulite with cross training is through the ongoing stimulation of better circulation. The better the bloodflow, the better your skin and muscles. Also, working the explosive fast-twitch fibers of the muscles creates a more conditioned appearance and can also support your efforts to reduce cellulite’s gross appearance. In addition, with good diet, you can decrease the amount of subcutaneous water retention. When you retain water from poor diet (too many processed foods or too much sodium or dehydration) or you’re too inactive, your body will retain water and fill those open cellulite pockets between the connective tissue and the muscle.
The exercise cross-training is key, but also diet has a very hearty role in the reduction of cellulite. Higher protein diets rich in leafy greens and raw foods tend to stimulate all the same things mentioned above: circulation, collagen, less water retention, better digestion (so as not to retain excessive toxins), overall glow of the skin and muscular nourishment. It’s as important to eat healthy as it is to exercise when it comes to reducing cellulite. As well, it’s as important to drink lots of water as it is to eat healthy and cross-train. Too little water causes dehydration, and dehydration causes water retention, which causes more dimples in cellulite.
Weight training combined with cardio, interval training (you can find articles on interval training right here at nitasworld.com!), plyometrics, running, sprinting, elliptical, step mill, stair masters, dancing, and whatever other effective high-fat-burning exercises are the foundation for cellulite reduction. Couple this activity regimen with high protein and leafy greens and lots of water (a gallon a day is rule of thumb) and you will reduce cellulite!
Remember you can’t get rid of cellulite, but you can condition your body to have less of it with this lifestyle. That’s why you rarely see cellulite on competitive physique athletes. Those who live the lifestyle look sculpted and toned year round.
I believe that my lifestyle has altered this for me and I continue to smoothen the areas of my skin that seem to be camping areas for cellulite. Though I will continue to be at war with cellulite because of my body’s inherent predisposition to cellulite by virtue of the natural direction of my connective tissue, I see that my active lifestyle continues to change and improve the appearance of my body, and I love living fit because of it! Additionally, I feel better, happier with my appearance, and more confident and energized.
Now one last thing I tell everyone, BE HAPPY. Joy can help reduce the amount of cortisol (the body’s toxic product of stress) we manufacture. Cortisol manages to make us hold toxins, stifle digestion, retain excess water, and overall, it leads us into an easier cellular breakdown (which causes aging AND cellulite- yuk!). So the final key to cellulite reduction, and quite possibly more important than cellulite reduction- SMILE! Be Well, Be You, BE PHENOMENAL! You are Worth the Work!
-Nita Lee Marquez
Lentils are great because they have no sodium, high protein, no fat, and moderate carbs (low-glycemic) with high fiber content. I like them because being a pescatarian [someone who eats only fish for protein- although I enjoy my egg whites and whey shakes, too] They are definitely a great protein source for vegans, and really, lentils are great for anyone who is trying to be healthier and stronger. I recommend them as part of a high protein diet, as well as part of a diet that requires more fiber.
“Simple, fast and healthy meals are my only alternative.”
The best part about them is that they require little to no work for preparation. “3-minutes or less in prep time” is my rule, because as a single mother to three children who are all busy with their own careers and school and training, I simply don’t have time for anything more than this, whether I’m cooking for them or for myself. Simple, fast and healthy meals are my only alternative.
As far as the taste of lentils, they can vary based on the spices used, of course. My personal preference is the Indian combined with Mexican spices. I am posting that style of lentils in this recipe today. They taste so good, even my children like them! And the texture is so smooth, that you can even mash them into a paste and spread them like hummus. They are absolutely delicious! See me son here to get his feedback on them! In the meantime, feel free to post comments and join my facebook page or join our group at AmericasHottestFitMoms.com to interact with the rest of the Fit Moms in the group and maybe talk about lentils and other fitness recipes and the fitness lifestyle. In the mean time, enjoy the lentils and BE PHENOMENAL!
Makes 2 servings:
1 cup lentils
1.5 cups water
2 tbsp olive oil
in desired amounts:
red pepper (cayenne, or dried red chili peppers- whichever you prefer)
himalayan salt (mild amounts for those who are sodium-sensitive)
4 corn tortillas (i prefer yellow due to the rich flavor and also higher nutrient content)
1. pour all ingredients, minus the corn tortillas, into a soup pan.
2. boil at medium heat (i usually boil it all for about 30 minutes).
3. turn off heat, stir, and cool until water is nearly dissolved.
4. as you wish, you may also add a little fresh squeezed lemon juice
5. spread onto your corn tortillas and munch away!
What inspired your track from fat to fit? What made you want to be a Fit Mom?
There are a lot of fitness recipes available online, but the problem I have with most of them is that they take too long! Fit Moms don’t have the time to spend an hour in the kitchen preparing meals. I certainly have never been one who could cook, who enjoyed cooking, much less was I someone who could make the time to prepare anything extravagant or luxurious in the kitchen. I personally have always been the type of mom who, fit mom or not, I have been on the go! Like a lot of fit moms, I get out of bed super early every morning because that’s my only real personal time, when I can read, eat alone, work out, or just meditate.
EVEN IF YOU’VE BEEN UP SINCE 4a.m., WHEN THE KIDS GO TO SCHOOL, YOU ARE JUST BEGINNING!
A lot of fit moms do this, and it’s been proven time and again for every mom, these quiet peaceful mornings give us a chance to rev up the engine for the day’s events. Once any mom finishes the morning mommie routine though, it’s on! The children get up and start getting ready for school, Fit Mom makes breakfast, packs lunches, preps for the work day, and takes the children to school! After the kids get to school, people think a mom may be able to rest. Nope. Every mother knows that when mom time goes down, work time goes up. It’s all about packing in as much work and daily tasks and responsibilities as possible in the 6-8 hours that the kids are gone. That means, work, mail, filling out papers and making appointments for family affairs (medical, dental, school, recreational activities, etc), attending appointments, working at the office, keeping meetings, work events, and then being done with everything in time to go pick up the children from school.
After school, there’s homework time, dinner time, chores, (and often times, arguing with the children to get them to do chores), more responsibilities & organization, and then bedtime for the little ones. Then you get started on prepping for the next day. It doesn’t end here either. A lot of times there are things we’ve forgone to do other things throughout the day, so when the kids are in bed, all moms know that it’s time to finish up daily tasks that didn’t get done, fill out the next day’s check list, and then finally, we can go to bed!
AFTER SCHOOL, THE DAY IS STILL IN HIGH GEAR! YOU CAN’T REST. A MOTHER’S WORK IS NEVER DONE. SO HOW DO YOU FIT COOKING IN?
It can be tempting to get fast food with this type of schedule. For even the fit mom is exhausted and doesn’t want to cook. So what can you do? In this busy life we lead these days, Fit Moms are not the only ones on the go. Everyone is looking for fast meal solutions that are also healthy.
There are answers to our wishes for convenient, fast and healthy eating! If you like lean fish, you’ll love these recipes. Two out of my three children love fish. My third usually just eats chicken off of the foreman grill when we have fish for dinner. I started doing these 3-minute or less prep time recipes to ensure that everyone in my home is satisfied and healthy. And since I don’t like cooking, and like a lot of parents, I don’t have the time, I have a motto for this: ”If it takes me more than 3 minutes to prepare it, I won’t make it.”
Here are the recipes via my youtube channel. I’ve done them in video format because, well, typing isn’t fun, and videos are easier to follow. So here ya go! Enjoy!
Pan Fried Tilapia (breaded but lean!)
All of these can be made with veggies or yams and taste delightful without adding junk into the mix… Enjoy & Empower all you Phenomenal Fit Moms!
And of course, always remind yourself to BE PHENOMENAL! You are Worth the Work!
Ever since I started having children, I was increasingly more intrigued by the idea of being a Fit Mom. I would run in the mornings around the man-made lake near our tiny apartment in Arizona. When my husband and I first had our oldest of three, I was not the most fit person you would see. You couldn’t actually tell that I worked out ever. I was on the other side of chubby, but not quite in shape yet. Being fit, especially after having children, has certainly come at a price. Many things were sacrificed along my way toward becoming the Nita Marquez that people see today. I am often asked if I was always athletic, or if I was always thin. No to both. I was athletic at eating when I was growing up, and I was made fun of for my weight, even by my own parents. Weight, food and diet were always either very foreign to me, or extremely unfriendly. I didn’t synergize well with this fitness lifestyle at first, so I learned to take baby steps, and for the amount of sacrifices, there are A LOT of baby steps involved. Likening this journey to that of a baby growing up, I will say this, you do have to learn to walk before you can start doing sprints, and that almost always starts out with a crawl.
As a mother who was married at one time, I had the luxury of a second adult in the household to ease the stress at moments of overwhelm. I had someone there at night telling me they love me, just like I do my children. The affections and praises of another adult make all the difference in the world when it comes to replenishing our energy stores. There is something to be said about being a mother in a two-parent household, even if it’s not picture-perfect, which mine wasn’t, it’s still an ease on the daily tasks of motherhood when someone else can take the kids to the amusement park or do something outside the house with the children so a mother can have peace, quiet and solitude, and of course, have another grown up say, “You’re doing great,” to make you feel appreciated and valued. It also gave me time to start focusing more on myself and my fitness goals for myself and my family.
After I became a single mom, I went through the jolting reality of how much that other adult’s presence in my life meant. Being a fit mom by then, yes, I certainly had an advantage in being already settled into some of my fitness habits, and it certainly helped my self-esteem to be getting into better shape even though I was a single mother of three. Most people expect that a woman falls apart physically in such scenarios. Still, I was by myself with these three, one of whom, is diabetic, my little infant son (now 9). It was harder than before to keep moving along so energetically on a daily basis, even though I had already built a lot of those fitness habits.
There was a point though, where I was finally able to make the correct adjustments that have come to be my hallmark as a fit mom today, the adjustments of efficiently living fit as a mother. There are many efficiency points in living the life of a fit mom, but all moms, especially fit moms, understand the value of making choices that help us capitalize on our most precious asset (aside from our kids, of course): TIME.
Integrating my family time with my fitness time was a great option for me, and evaluation of my life choices, helped me see how I could make more time available for both. Taking inventory of our personal choices is key. If you want to have the life of a fit mom, it’s about choices. Not that we won’t make mistakes, but taking inventory on ourselves helps us realize the places where perhaps our choices aren’t paying off. Being a fit mom isn’t as hard as it seems. Choices can make life efficient, and there are plenty of choices that help in streamlining our efforts for living the fit life and being a mom. I made the following adjustments in my life, and adapted to not only being a single mom, but also a mom who was more fit than ever!
1) Avoid nights out at the bars and happy hours. Why? Because for one, alcohol makes you fat, whether people want to admit it to themselves or not, and two, that time spent would cost me more time in the gym and it was already taking time away, so it’s a double-whammy.
2) Take the kids to the track or the park instead of to the movies and McFastFood. Being active at these places helps make life the fit mom more fit, the kids get more fit, and when they see you doing sprints or even racing with them, they are not only with witnessing that their mom totally rocks, but they are gaining a totally different type of bond with us if they grow up with that image instead of the images of sitting around a TV eating junk food. How do we fit moms really want our kids to remember their childhood? Let them go to the gym with you, if you have that ability, or go for walks or bike rides. Fit mom time made family time creates a completely different bond with us to our children.
3) Cook foods and meals that are fast and easy AND fit! It’s possible. I started coming up with these quirky little quickie recipes because I never liked cooking in the first place. I was more of a salad and sandwich mom when I was married. However, I did have a Foreman Grill. With that thing, I can cook meats from the frozen state , and have a meal in less than ten minutes, with only a couple of minutes of prep time. I have begun posting some of those recipes that my children like and I benefit from the healthiness of because everything I make in my 3-minute-or-less prep time recipes is low-sodium, low-fat, low-carb, and high-protein. This is great because all of these recipes are already tasty and the taste can be even more enhanced with your favorite spices, sauces, yet still stimulate your metabolism (your body’s ability to burn fat).
You can find some of my 3-minute-or-less prep time recipes on my YouTube channel, fitnita.
One sacrifice you do NOT have to make in living the fitness lifestyle is family. There are a lot of Fit Moms out there who have learned to maintain their fitness lifestyles while still managing to keep the family first. Learn more about family-first fitness here at www.NitasWorld.com and we now have a group of moms who have come together to support each other. Find out about joining the group at the America’s Hottest Fit Moms site page.
Here are some links to my yummie (but slightly cheesy) Fit Mom 3-Minutes-or-Less prep time recipes:
Tilapia Tacos Part 1 (you could use chicken in this process as well!)
Lentils (My son Quinn is in this video too! Funny!)
There you have it America’s Hottest Fit Moms and friends, fitness lifestyle made easy. Don’t forget to comment on this blog so I know how helpful it is for you! I will always adhere to the readers interests, so keep me updated on what YOU want!
Be well. Be You. Be PHENOMENAL! You are Worth the Work!
-Nita Lee Marquez