Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Dirty Dozen


No, this is not a post about the movie, but a post about fruits and veggies! Let's all give a shout out to our favorites - mine are broccoli and strawberries. Yours?

Now, imagine eating these and before you do, spraying chemicals all over them. Appetizing, eh?
I am going to introduce you to something called the "Dirty Dozen." It is a list of fruits and veggies to avoid buying if you can't buy organic. Why? Because they are heavily sprayed with pesticides to keep the bugs from eating them, and recently companies have even starting cloning these foods (more about this later). I am going to share with you the "Dirty Dozen" list of foods and some reasons why to buy organic whenever possible.

The 12 Most Contaminated - these are the fruits and veggies sprayed the most heavily with pesticides, so buy organic when possible
  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes (Imported)
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes

The 12 Least Contaminated - these foods are not sprayed much or do not absorb the pesticide because of their thick skin, which means they do not need to be organic

  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn (Frozen)
  • Pineapples
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Peas (Frozen)
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Bananas
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya

Ok, so now that we have those foods straight, why should you bother to buy organic produce? Note: Today I am just talking about buying fruits and veggies organic, so I won't go into why buying organic dairy and meat is important (it might even be more important!). I will save that for another post.

Thirty percent of our crops in the U.S. today are GMO crops (Genetically Modified Organisms), which means they were produced in a laboratory. Do you want to eat "fake" food? That's what I like to call it. It's almost the same thing as eating Dolly, the cloned sheep. Here is a good Q&A article if you want to know more about GMO's.

Another reason why I like to buy organic when I can - all the chemicals that I do not want to put in my body. Who knows what is sprayed all over our crops and then absorbed into the fruit. Studies have shown that pesticides can adversely affect the nervous system, increase the risk of cancer, and decrease fertility.

There are multiple other reasons to buy organic, but those are the two big reasons that resonate with me. If you are able to buy some organic produce, remember the "Dirty Dozen" list. I know many people who talk about how expensive buying organic is, and all I can ask is for you to think about this question: How much of a priority is your health to you?

If this resonates with you, do your research and make it a priority!

~Leslie

Monday, January 23, 2012

Educate Yourself! My Health and Wellness Book Recommendations...

Today I thought I would share with you what I have been reading/listening to about weight loss, fat, hormones, etc. This is where most of my information comes for my blog posts and how I view my body and health. Some of the books can be quite controversial, so I hope you will have your mind open to these challenging topics.

Jillian Michaels













I couldn't start off a book post without recommending three of Jillian's books. She knows her stuff! Every single one of these is a must-read if you want to understand weight loss, how to lose the last 20 lbs, and how your hormones play into weight loss.

Winning By Losing is a great one if you are just starting out with your weight loss journey and need basic information.
Making The Cut explains the difference between losing a large amount of weight and the last ~20 lbs. Jillian gives you a workout plan and meal plan to follow if you so choose.
Master Your Metabolism is a culmination of what Jillian has learned through the years on how your hormones can make or break your weight loss and how your body functions. She talks about her own experience with fad diets and how they ruined her metabolism, and also gives a thorough overview of each hormone.

Another resource that Jillian uses to share information is on her podcast on itunes. It is called The Jillian Michaels Show. I find this to be my favorite thing to listen to during the week. She is full of information, news, and hilarious moments between her and her producer, Janice. Please take a listen and see if you aren't addicted, especially if you are one of those people who don't like to read :)

Gary Taubes

Gary's book, Why We Get Fat, is one of the controversial books I was talking about above.
I think we have all grown up saying that, "eat less, move more" is the motto to live by when it comes to losing weight. Sure, I have seen it work for some people. Again, I stick my tongue out at them, BUT for the majority of Americans who have multiple health problems, hypothyroidism, diabetes, etc, it just doesn't work.
I have been reading this eye-opening book and find myself going back and forth between "eat less, move more" and his point of view. Just like my previous post, I still fall into saying that everyone's body is different.

Here is the book summary from Amazon: "He reveals the bad nutritional science of the last century—none more damaging or misguided than the “calories-in, calories-out” model of why we get fat—and the good science that has been ignored. He also answers the most persistent questions: Why are some people thin and others fat? What roles do exercise and genetics play in our weight? What foods should we eat, and what foods should we avoid? Persuasive, straightforward, and practical, Why We Get Fat is an essential guide to nutrition and weight management."


Sean Croxton

I just discovered Sean's e-book, The Dark Side of Fat Loss. It is similar to Why We Get Fat, in "debunking the calories-in, calories-out method of weight loss." If you are able to buy e-books and are up for a funny and mind-boggling, but educational book on fat and hormones, please buy this one!

He also has a great podcast as well, and if you have any kind of thyroid problem, I highly recommend listening to his podcasts. I heard one on thyroid disorders recently that blew me away because of the information was so helpful.

Find all the info on Sean and his radio show here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/undergroundwellness


If you have the time, please check these books out. They are well worth your time.
Let me know what you think!

~Leslie

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

EveryBODY's Different

I am sure most of you have heard the shocking news about Paula Deen. She has diabetes! Oh no ... not shocked? Well, me neither. I was reading an interview with her and it seems like she did the best thing for herself by waiting to make the news public. Anyway, this article brought up a great topic to discuss - how everyone's body responds to food in a different way.

If you read the article, one comment stands out in particular, "Type 2 diabetes is like "Russian roulette" when it comes to whom it's going to strike, Deen says. "It's about heredity. It's about age, lifestyle, race. I'm the only one in my family who has it. My grandmother cooked and ate like I ate, and she didn't have it."

If you read that and thought maybe she is right, she is. EveryBODY's different. How our body responds to food and exercise depends on genetics, hormones, our immune system, etc. This is just so wild to me. I have only begun to understand this principle. Paula talks about her grandmother being able to eat what she wanted, and while she lived in a time when they didn't have processed everything, pesticides, and other chemicals, her body was able to process and use food in a much different way than Paula's body.

I want you to think for a minute on how your body responds when you eat white flour, such as white pasta, breads, cookies, etc. Are you bloated? Do you feel tired? If you don't, you are lucky my friend! I can tell you that when I eat these things, I feel bloated and tired and many other things. I have stopped eating breads altogether because of my thyroid problem. My body is extra sensitive to certain foods and ingredients, and I would rather feel energetic and good during the day, than gain extra weight all the time because I can't process it. Anyone agree?

So, what kinds of foods do that to you? Have you ever taken time to notice? If you haven't, that's the first thing I want you to do.

Secondly, what "diets" have you tried? What works for me, may not work for you. Start researching all the different ways of eating. Atkins, DASH, Paleo, and Vegan, just to name a few. Let me be clear: If you want to change the way you feel, lose weight and CONTINUE to maintain those changes, this kind of eating MUST be a lifestyle change. I know that is hard for some people to accept. But, it is the truth.

I am not trying to say that how Paula Deen was eating didn't get her to this point. Sure, her body was overloaded and couldn't process the sugar and fat she was eating. BUT, there are so many other factors involved, and hormones are the biggest and most complicated piece of the puzzle. If your hormones are not in sync with each other, your body will not function properly. Some people are blessed with genetics that just let their body's zoom right along, they don't gain weight, don't have to worry about what they eat. I know MANY people like this. I like to stick my tongue out at them (:-P)

If you have a body like mine, don't let that get you down. I hope you realize you need to make changes. Do your research online, read books, ask friends, ask me!
Remember, EveryBODY's different!

Good luck!

~Leslie

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Personal Training Services

It's official! I am a Certified Personal Trainer!

I am currently taking clients! If you click on my SERVICES page, you will find a list of what I offer.

Please send me an email if you are interested and want to know more about my training.
It is a new year, let's get 2012 off getting healthy together!

I am excited to hear from you!

~Leslie

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tools to Track Your Health

How many of you go to the gym and wonder if you are really burning any calories, or think you are and maybe really didn't burn as many as you thought? What about when you eat? How many of you actually keep track of everything you put in your mouth? Well, if you don't, then it is most likely hindering your weight loss efforts - if that is your goal.

I have been using a two specific tools that I am going to share with you, which have helped me immensely while trying to lose weight and keep track of everything I am eating and burning.

Heart Rate Monitors
The first one is a Heart Rate Monitor. If you don't have one, they are definitely worth your money. They range in cost from $70-$200 based on their different functions. I highly recommend the Polar brand. I have the Polar FT4 which does what every heart rate monitor does (or should do), without being too fancy. It comes with a chest strap (the only way to really be accurate) and you wear it right below your chest line, or right at the bottom bra line, for the ladies. I just have to plug in my info, like height, weight, sex, etc. and it calculates your heart rate zones for you AND counts your calories, as well. It will keep about 10 days worth of your information after you finish your workout. That means it keeps how long your workout was, what time you started, the calories you burned, and greatest and average heart rate.
I would highly recommend this brand. I have tried another brand in the past (I won't name names), and had to return it twice because it just stopped working.
*Any of these can be bought at most places that have health/fitness equipment

Food Tracking Tools
There are plenty of websites out in cyberspace for you to use to track your food. I am sure some of you already use and like them. I have never enjoyed using these kinds of sites because they either seemed too time consuming, very general, or not very user-friendly. But, good news, folks! I have found my favorite and, what I like to say, is the best one out there :)

MyFitnessPal
has solved every problem I have had with other food sites. It is really easy to use. It stores ALL of your food items you enter in so all you have to do is check a box to select it next time. It also has an app for your phone. This app makes it even easier to add foods by using your camera to read the scanner label on the package of food, and then it inputs all the nutrition for you! That is awesome! I love it even more because it stores specific brands - even Whole Foods and Trader Joe's stuff in their database!! Ahhh, I could just scream I love this site so much .... well, ok, that's getting a little overboard. One more thing it also takes into account is your exercise for the day, which you can add. I have included a screenshot of one of the days on my account, so you can see what it will look like with the totals at the bottom. Just disregard all the crazy food I eat :) I hope this helps!















Good luck in picking out the right tools for you. I hope this gave you a little insight into what kind of fitness tools are out there!

~Leslie

Friday, January 6, 2012

Rules On Conquering the Gym

Good morning everyone!
This is just meant to be a fun post. I saw this website about "27 Rules of Conquering the Gym." It's pretty funny if you ask me, so I would like to share with all of you. Take a look at the link below and enjoy! I hope you find the humor in it! I particularly like #15 and #21 :)

27 Rules of Conquering the Gym

P.S. I have some great news to post in the next few days! Be on the look out!

~Leslie

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year, New Decisions

Happy New Year to you!

I was thinking today of what new decisions I will be making this year, starting tomorrow, in fact. This was mainly spurred on because of my apathetic workouts this month, my horrible eating this weekend - and practically every weekend in December. Even though I am almost a personal trainer and find eating healthy very important, I still struggle with my food and workout decisions every day. I am here to tell you that it is NOT easy. It isn't just something "I do" because I like it. Now, I actually do enjoy working out and seeing my body change, but that doesn't make it any easier to make good decisions regarding these things.

What kind of food/fitness decisions do you make on a daily basis? Or do they even cross your mind? Good for you if they are, because that means they are at least on your radar. And if they aren't, I hope you will at least be thinking about it.

Now, my New Year question to you:
What kind of change do you want to make this year, involving health and wellness? What kind of decisions will you have to make regarding your time management, family schedules, grocery shopping, budgeting, etc. to live healthier? Do you have any health issues that would improve because of a change in eating/exercise? Why is this important to you?

Most of you read my first post about my journey and know that I made the decision to change because I was so tired of living with myself. Making that decision is the first step in all of this. Everyday I decide what to eat, write it down, what kind of workout to do, and work on my fitness goals.

Another reason I choose to eat well and push myself during my workouts is because of my thyroid condition. I have hypothyroidism (which has become extremely prevalent these days) and that means my thyroid doesn't produce enough hormone, so I have to take a pill everyday to give me those hormones. It also means I gain weight quicker, I lose weight slower, and can feel tired and sluggish. It's been under control for a few years now and I have a good amount of energy. But the way I feel is directly related to what I eat and my exercise. If I eat crap, I feel like crap. My body is much more sensitive to certain foods, and no matter how many times I tell myself this, sometimes it just doesn't matter.

I am human and give into temptations, but the point I am trying to make is that you don't have to beat yourself up for giving into those temptations. Let yourself eat what you want at a party. But that is ONE time, not everyday. I let myself eat what I wanted the last two days and I'll be honest, I'm not that thrilled with myself, but I am okay with it because that is what I decided to do. It convinced me to get back into the swing of things tomorrow.
I still have goals to reach and I can't reach them by falling back into my "old ways."

What goals would you like to reach if you could turn your "old ways" into new ones??
I would love to hear them if you would like to share! :)

Good luck,
~Leslie