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Why Should I Include Kale In My Diet?

7 Jul

Kale has many health benefits that can enhance the quality of your life. Although not recommended for everyone, Kale can be a powerful ally in your pursuit of a healthy diet.  In this article I have outlined the benefits and contraindications of Kale.

1) What are the benefits of Kale?

  1. Kale is low in calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat.
  2. Kale is high in iron, Vitamin K, Vitamin C (reduces free radical damage caused by exposure to pollutants), Iron, Folate, Magnesium, and Calcium (i.e. kale has more absorbable calcium than a small carton of milk).
  3. Kale has 2 grams of protein (which can serve to add muscle mass).
  4. Kale detoxifies the liver
  5. Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants.
  6. Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food (mega-3 fatty acids and phytonutrients, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma, and autoimmune disorders).
  7. Kale contains the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, along with beta-carotene which are all essential for good eye health.

2) What are the different types of Kale?

  • There are mainly 2 types of Kale: Red and Green

The primary difference between the two is in the way they taste.  Red Russian kale is sweeter compared to green kale. Therefore, it might be the better option to start out with when trying Kale.

  • Specifically, the different types of Kale are:

1. Curly kale – Most common type of kale that can be found in most supermarkets. It has a peppery flavor but if you prefer less bitterness, look for younger kale as they have a milder taste.

2. Lacinto kale (AKA…Tuscan Kale, Tuscan Cabbage, or Dinosaur Kale). Its leaves are narrow, dark green and wrinkly attached to a hard stem that should ideally be removed.

3. Redbor kale – They range from deep red to purple color, sometimes with some shades of green. In addition to cooking, Redbor kale can be used as a granish.

4. Russian (Siberian) kale – They range from green to red/purple shades. It’s sweet and mild with a hint of pepper.

3) How should I integrate Kale into my diet?

  • Kale can be eaten raw or lightly cooked as this helps to preserve the antioxidants, polyphenols and beta-carotene content. It’s great in soups, stews, stir-fries, salads, and smoothies.
  • Kale chips made in a dehydrator can serve as great snacks throughout the day.

4) When should I avoid Kale?

  • People taking blood thinners like Coumadin (warfarin) should avoid kale as the vitamin K in kale may interfere with that medicine.
  • People with cruciferous vegetable allergies should avoid Kale.
  • Care should be taken with people who may suffer from iodine deficiency or are suffering with any potential thyroid related conditions as Kale can interfere with thyroid health due to its Glucosinolate compounds. These foods are also known as Goitrogens and can interfere with iodine metabolism.

Are your ready to #FinishItWithFinishFit ®?

Healthy Snacks That Work!

1 Jul

1. What should we look for when choosing a snack?

  • Gluten-free, Vegan, Milk, egg, wheat, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, fish and shellfish free
  • No added sugar or preservatives, salt, flavors, or colors
  • Good source of protein, fiber, and omega 3
  • Non-GMO, Wheat Free BPA-Free packaging

2. Why are healthy snack alternatives so important?

  • Even though snacking is frowned upon, it can be a great way to satiate your hunger and prevent you from overeating (ultimately helping you with your weight loss or weight maintenance goals). Furthermore, healthy snacking can help maintain stable blood sugar levels (which is especially important in diabetics) throughout the day preventing you from mid-day crashes.

3. What are some of your favorite healthy alternative snack?

  • Instead of Haribo gummy bars that are full of chemicals and sugar, choose Yum Earth
  • Gummy bears are organic and made from natural ingredients
  • Granola and Coconut Bar by Macrobar
  • Organic Fuji Apple Chips by Bare
  • Flatbread, Seedlander by Doctor Kracker
  • Of course, one should not dismiss whole organic fruits and various nuts as snacks.

Are you ready to Finish It With Finish Fit®?

 

Is Ketchup Bad For You?

26 May

Ketchup is a low-calorie condiment, made from tomatoes, vinegar, salt, pepper, and spices. It contains 15 calories per tablespoon and vitamin A and C. Compared with its competitor mayonnaise ketchup has no fat and far fewer calories per tablespoon (mayo contains 103 calories, 12 grams fat). This makes it a healthier choice for those trying to cut out added calories.

Processed and cooked tomatoes were also found to have high levels of the antioxidant Lycopene. In 2004, a study released from the Harvard School of Public Health revealed that women who had higher levels of lycopene in their blood had a 50% lower risk for developing heart disease. That study also proved useful for ketchup manufacturers who got the word out that their product is “healthy.” After that I found friends, family and even clients who’d squeeze bottles of ketchup on their plate and rationalize its overuse by saying, “hey, it’s good for me!”

On the down side, two ingredients of concern in ketchup are salt and sugar. Per tablespoon, ketchup contains 4 grams of sugar and 190 milligrams of sodium. Although 4 grams of sugar doesn’t seem like a lot, much of it comes from added sugar, as opposed to the natural sugar found in tomatoes. The same goes for the added salt: consuming 8 tablespoons of ketchup will have you reaching your sodium needs for the entire day, so if you like to pour on the red stuff, it’s easy to overload on sodium.

Are you ready to Finish It With Finish Fit®?

Body Composition Not Weight Is The True Measure Of Overall Health And Wellness

25 May

Did you know that more than 98% of all diets fail? Most people think it’s their own fault, that they did something wrong, that they simply weren’t good dieters. But the truth is, almost all diets fail because they’re incorrectly designed in the first place. Believe it or not, your actual body weight is irrelevant and misleading. The true indicator of successful body weight management is body composition. That’s the ratio between your percentage of lean body mass and percentage of body fat. Body composition is used by athletes, coaches, and fitness professionals as the true measure of weight management, athletic performance, and overall health and fitness.

So, the key to successful weight management is knowing the difference between weight loss and fat loss. Here’s why this difference is so important. When a person loses 20 pounds on a conventional low-calorie diet, the weight loss is mostly lean mass. This loss of healthy tissue is harmful. A restricted-calorie diet also harms the body in other ways. It slows your metabolism, creates hormonal imbalances, compromises the immune system, and upsets the central nervous system. Remember, the human body does not understand the concept of dieting. What it correctly perceives is starvation. So again, the key to credible, long-term weight management is understanding the difference between weight loss and fat loss.

Most diets and commercial weight loss centers would like you to believe that fat can be starved off your body. The fact is, it can’t. Here’s what you should know about body fat and weight management. Fat is stored energy. In a sense, it’s your body’s reserve fuel tank. However, when your body runs out of fuel on a low-calorie or restricted-calorie diet, it does not tap into its precious fat stores. Instead, it quickly and efficiently converts healthy, lean mass into carbohydrate for its immediate energy requirements. This is why restricted calorie dieting is so dangerous. Without enough fuel, the body will actually feed upon itself.

Next, fat requires oxygen to be burned, and the quickest, most efficient way to get oxygen into your body is through exercise. This is where fitness professionals can provide guidance in maximizing your body’s potential to burn fat.

Will you Finish It With Finish Fit®?

Fatty Acid Balance Is The Key To Health

20 May

Dietary fat has 6 major roles in the body:

  1. It provides a source of energy
  2. It help balance and make hormones
  3. It forms cell membranes
  4. It helps construct our brain and nervous system
  5. It helps transport the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K; and
  6. It provides 2 essential fatty acids that the body can’t make: linoleic acid (omega 6-fatty acid) and linolenic acid (omega-3 fatty acid).

Overall health is determined by the balance of fatty acids consumed. In excess and out of balance combination can lead inflammation. Healthy fats, which include omega fats are so named for their beneficial effects on blood triglycerides and cholesterols, blood vessels, metabolism, and inflammation. Humans evolved by consuming a diet consisting of marine life, inland plants, and wild game which provided ample omga-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The balance, however, resulted in a omega-6/omega-3 ratio that was around 1:1. Our diet has now evolved to the point where this ratio has shifted to an skewed 16:1 to 20:1. This distortion comes from a high intake  of omega-6 fatty acids from corn oil, safflower oil, meat from animals that eat high amounts of corn (rather than grass). Therefore, to achieve a healthy ratio, we must balance the omega-6 to omega-3 fats in our diets.

The most recognized omega-3 fats are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Plants products such as flax and walnuts are rich in ALA, while marine sources like fish, and algae have beneficial levels of omega-3 fats. Omgega-3 fats also release eicosanoids which promote anti-inflammatory effects.

Science has shown that omega-6 and omega-3 fats have opposite effects. Therefore, in order to reduce inflammation and promote health, we must consume a diet that maintains a fundamental balance between the actions stimulated by omega-3 and omega-6 fats.

Will you Finish It With Finish Fit®?

What Are the Benefits Of Organic Snacks?

12 May

1) What should we look for when choosing a snack?

-Gluten-free, Vegan, Milk, egg, wheat, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, fish and shellfish free

-No added sugar or preservatives, salt, flavors, or colors

-Good source of protein, fiber, and omega 3

-Non-GMO, Wheat Free

-BPA-Free packaging

2) Why are healthy snack alternatives so important?

Even though snacking is frowned upon, it can be a great way to satiate your hunger and prevent you from overeating (ultimately helping you with your weight loss or weight maintenance goals). Furthermore, healthy snacking can help maintain stable blood sugar levels (which is especially important in diabetics) throughout the day preventing you from mid-day crashes.

3) What are some of your favorite healthy alternative snack brands?

– Granola and Coconut Bar by Macrobar

– Organic Fuji Apple Chips by Bare

– Flatbread, Seedlander by Doctor Kracker

– Of course, one should not dismiss whole organic fruits and various nuts as snacks.

Will you Finish It With Finish Fit®

6 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

13 Jul

#1 Don’t Skip Breakfast

The morning meal jump starts your metabolism and helps to prevent bingeing later in the day. A cup of coffee does not count – the caffeine and added sugar may give you a bit of energy and suppress your appetite for a little while it is sure to back fire into severe hunger and you will be more likely to overeat later. Breakfast should include complex carbohydrates like whole grain (granola or oatmeal), along with some protein and fat (low-fat yogurt or milk), will keep your energy levels even and hunger in check.

#2 Eat more often

Get into the habit of eating every three to four hours or at least four times a day. Eating frequently stabilizes blood sugar, when blood sugar drops too low you want to eat…a lot. By keeping your blood sugar stable you can control your appetite and keep you metabolic rate high. When you go many hours without eating your body will compensate by slowing down to conserve energy…this effect hurts your weight loss efforts.

#3 Eat protein at every meal

Protein will help to reduce your appetite, it takes more energy and time to digest, in effect you feel full longer than eating carbohydrates alone. Research shows that eating more protein can help you lose weight without cutting calories. Try these protein possibilities: turkey on whole wheat; hummus and pita; vegetarian chili; fruit and nuts; or protein snack bars that contain 12 or more grams of protein.

#4 Hold off on snacking

Many of us grab a snack for quick energy when we are feeling tired. But do not confuse true hunger with fatigue. If you are feeling tired go for a 15-20 minute brisk walk. This will raise your heart rate and give you a boost of energy. Follow it up with a large glass of cool water. If you are truly hungry have a protein and complex carbohydrate rich snack like; whole wheat crackers and peanut butter or cheese.

#5 Consume enough for your body’s needs

Eating too little slows your body’s metabolism the same way eating to infrequently does. If you want to lose weight, do not slash your calories too drastically. Instead, cut out some of the extras in your diet – things like soda, juice, packaged goods or candy. Processed foods tend to be high in fat and calories and low in vitamins, minerals and fiber.

#6 Do strength training at least 3X/Week.

By doing strength training at least 3X/Week you will increase your muscle mass (the body’s engine) which in turn will help burn calories at rest. This will help boost your metabolism and aid in fat loss.

5 Simple Steps to Lose Body Fat

4 Jul

If you are carrying around some extra weight like most of people, you know all the reasons why you should take the weight off. It will decrease the stress on your heart, reducing the chance of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. You’ll feel better, look more attractive, etc.

There are thousands of reasons why, but it can be a real pain to finally get that body fat off. You push really hard, make a little progress, get side tracked, and “Bam” you’re back where you started; only heavier. Or, your try yet another diet to lose the extra bounds.

It’s maddening. Stop that hassle! I have put together 5 simple steps to actually lose body fat and keep it off. These steps can be applied to anything, but we are focusing on fat loss here.

1. Know what you want and how to get there
2. Know where you are and how to overcome your weaknesses
3. Track your results and keep a daily food and exercise journal
4. Make changes to your plan as needed.
5. Keep yourself accountable by getting a workout partner or a personal trainer

Now all your extra body fat will effortlessly melt off. Sure it will! A simple list of 5 items is not going to do it, so let me explain the intricacies of these items and where the hang up normally occurs when applied to losing boy fat.

1. Know what you want and how to get there

This one is simple. Most people that want to lose body fat have an idea of how many pounds they would like to lose or how they would like their body to look.

I think we can safely say if your body started looking the way you wanted it, you would know, even if you didn’t have it completely mapped out and detailed.

However, its not enough just to know how what you want. You have to have a game plan and you need to track your results to see if your plan is actually working or not.

2. Know where you are and how to overcome your weaknesses

This is where most people fail. It is almost always overlooked and is the number one reason for the up and down Yo Yo effect we experience with body fat. We are unhappy with how our body feels and how it looks and it is painful to zoom in and get an accurate picture of where we are. Unfortunately, we have to know where we are, to be able to accurately judge the results we are getting.

You are on a trip to Point Loma, San Diego, CA. You would like to start your trip from Phoenix, Arizona, but you really don’t know where you are. No problem. You get an Arizona/California map and find that a simple 6 hours trip west on interstate 8 will get you to Point Loma, San Diego, CA.

5 hours later, you have no clue where you are and it is definitely not warm San Diego. You feel defeated and you want to give up! Do you blame the car? The stupid maps? San Diego? Yourself?

Now what if I told you, you were actually in New Your City, not Phoenix, Arizona. A 5 hour car ride west from New York City will never get you to San Diego.

If you took the time to accurately find out where you were, you would have been able to choose the appropriate means to get to San Diego and have an expectation as to how long it would take.

This is the same with fat loss and our personal physical condition. In our minds, we think we are starting in a different physical condition then we really are. When the results don’t follow the illusion in your mind, we get upset.

 

3. Track your results and keep a daily food and exercise journal

This is conceptually simple. If we have no clue as to WHAT we are doing, how do we know what is working? It might be a simple to do, but is also simple not to do. In the end, most people never track their results.

 

4. Make changes to your plan as needed.

We love to do this one. We have it hands down. It is like step 1 of knowing what you want. We try the new diet, the super crunch machine, and the cardio dance power energy yoga fat burner class.

We might be great at changing it up, but without knowing where we are starting from and a history of tracked results, we have no clue as to what we should change or even which direction we should go.

 

5. Keep yourself Accountable by getting a workout partner or a personal trainer

No, not accountability! That is an evil word. I don’t want someone to know what I am doing, or more importantly what I am not doing.

So, why do we resist accountability, your secret weapon to fat loss? Because it works! If you know someone is going to be watching, you would follow through or at least feel very uncomfortable not following through.

Accountability when used wisely is the ultimate turbo booster to your weight loss. Since you are going to be accountable anyway, you might as well get something out of it.

Using accountability up front, you can achieve the body of your dreams. If you let your body hold you accountable, it will throw on fat in places you don’t want it to be.

The biggest obstacle to fat loss is not taking any action. It doesn’t matter how good the plan is, it is worthless if you don’t follow it. So what do I do now?

One of the best ways to stay accountable is by hiring a personal trainer. A personal trainer will hold you accountable to your goals by regularly checking you body fat and weight to make sure you’re on track.

Another great way to stay accountable is to have a workout partner. You can motivate each other help keep yourselves accountable to completing your workouts.

First and foremost get Accountable.

Forward this article to someone you respect and care about and tell them I want to be accountable to finally taking off my extra pounds. When they agree to support you, start working through Steps 1 – 5.

8 Ways to Get In Shape

29 Jun

The market is saturated with low-fat, low-carb and sugar-free foods. But despite the popular diets, “magic” pills and the latest, greatest fitness machines that all promise to melt away the pounds, the majority of American adults are overweight.

For true weight-loss success, change your lifestyle for the long term and exercising regularly. Here are some creative ways to make fitness fun again and help you win the battle of the bulge once and for all.

  1. Use the Finish Fit®” – Nutrition App to follow a sensible nutrition plan that works.
  2. True Weight Management begins with education. Take the Finish Fit® “WMU-101 – My Nutrition Course  to learn how your body actually works and how to can make healthier choices.
  3. Take “active” vacations. Make fitness part of your travels. Head to a spa where, along with a little pampering, you can enjoy hiking, rock climbing, kickboxing, aqua aerobics and yoga.
  4. Walk or run for a good cause. Training for a charity walk (i.e. The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life), for example, may be all the motivation you need to get started on a regular fitness routine. Best of all, you’ll be helping your favorite charity accomplish its goals.
  5. Dance. Take Dance class using the Finish Fit® App – Boot Camp. Join one of the belly dancing or hip-hop dancing classes featured on the app. It’s a great way to shed the pounds, learn how to dance and have fun.
  6. Try classes with circuit training that boost the after burn affect. Finish Fit® App – Boot Camp features over 500 classes that can help you spice up your regular workout routine and provide a fun new way to tone your body right in the comfort of your own living room.
  7. Finish Fit® App – Personal Training features the ability for you to make custom workouts for yourself using its features rich workout demonstrations which include video displays with workout tips, PDF downloads, and the ability to track your sets, reps, and weights.
  8. Take Pilates using the Finish Fit® App – Boot Camp.  It’s perfect for those who want to add a more cutting-edge beat to their workout. The app features two mat Pilates workout sessions that focus on toning the arms, legs and abs, with a music mix that motivates you to get up and work out.

 

Obesity

27 Jun

Overview:

Obesity is a physical state that refers to excessive body fat. Chances are you have experienced the frustrations of dieting at least once in your life, if you have problems with your weight. Close to a hundred million Americans go on a weight loss diet in any given year and up to ninety-five percent of them regain the weight they lose within five years. Worse, a third will gain back more weight than they lost, in danger of “yo-yoing” from one popular diet to another. The conventional approach to weight problems, focusing on fad weight loss diets or weight loss drugs, may leave you with just as much weight and the additional burden of ill health.

Today, an estimated sixty-five percent of all American adults are obese or overweight. Our culture obsesses about staying thin even as we grow fatter, but this isn’t about appearances. Obesity is known to be a precursor to many debilitating health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis, and gallbladder disease. Obesity contributes to as many as 375,000 deaths every year. In addition, the public health costs for obesity are staggering. According to researchers at Harvard University, obesity is a factor in 19% of all cases of heart disease with annual health costs estimated at 30 billion dollars; it’s also a factor in 57% of diabetes cases, with health costs of $9 billion per year.

Set Realistic Goals:

No doubt you have fallen for one or more of the weight loss diet schemes over the years, promising quick and painless weight loss. Many of these quick weight loss diet programs undermine your health, cause physical discomfort, flatulence, and ultimately lead to disappointment when you start regaining weight, shortly after losing it. Fad or quick weight loss diet programs generally overstress one type of food. They contravene the fundamental principle of good nutrition – to remain healthy one must consume a balanced diet, which includes a variety of foods. Safe, healthy, and permanent weight reduction is what’s truly lost among the thousands of popular diet schemes.

Some of the weight loss diet schemes reign supreme briefly, only to fade out. While some wane from popularity due to being unproductive or unsafe, some simply lose the public’s curiosity. Examples of such fad diets include the South Beach Diet, Atkins diet, the Grapefruit diet, Cabbage Soup diet, the Rotation diet, Beverly Hills diet, Breatharian, Ornish Plan – the list goes on and on. These fad diets advocate a specific technique (such as eliminating a certain food, or eating only certain combinations of foods) in conjunction with the basic idea that the body makes up the difference in energy by breaking down and utilizing some part of itself, essentially converting matter into energy. This self-cannibalism, or catabolism as it is referred, typically starts with breakdown of stored body fat.

 

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