Get The Most From Your Workout

This question might make you squirm, but I’m going to ask it anyway…

How effective are your workouts?

Do you feel like you always give it your best shot?

Or would you describe your workout more like a comfortable trot? Do you coast along, maybe even break a slight sweat?

Since you are spending a portion of your valuable time working out, I assume that you desire to have a leaner and more toned body. And I also assume that if you had the option to achieve that defined body even faster you’d say, “Yes, please!”

The following tips are going to show you how to spend less time slacking, while achieving quicker, more noticeable results. Sounds good, right?

  • Be Focused. It sounds obvious, but this crucial requirement for an effective workout is often overlooked. Don’t be one of those people who exercise their jaw muscles (chit chatting) more than any other muscles. When you’re performing moves, focus on that specific muscle group. Researchers have proven significant increase in muscle activity when people focused on what they were doing, compared to thinking about unrelated topics. Make the mind body connection.
  • Be Confused. More specifically, your muscles should be confused. Do this by changing up your routine often. This helps to avoid plateaus and to continuously challenge your body. I like to switch up exercises at different intensities and weights.
  • Be Nourished and Hydrated. Stay on top of your food and your hydration levels. The best results are achieved when you’re drinking enough water and eating real, wholesome foods.
  • Be Strategic. Plan your workouts, block out time, and make sure your family, friends and anyone else respects that. You deserve it!
  • Be Watched. There’s a benefit to working out with eyes on you. Researchers saw a significant increase in strength and endurance in the people who had an audience versus those training on their own. EVERYONE tries to do a better job when they’re being watched .
  • Be Pumped Up. Check this out: researchers found that personal music motivated weightlifters to complete two more repetitions on average than those who were not listening to music. That’s a great reason to listen to upbeat music while you exercise. Make it fun, and create a workout playlist. I like to listen to “Eye Of The Tiger” by Survivor when I run. It reminds me of Rocky!  : )
  • Be Comfortable. Not only will you be happy to put comfortable workout clothes on, but you will also be able to focus better on your workout. This isn’t supposed to be a fashion show.
  • Be Smart. Working with a professional ensures that you’re being challenged and are seeing results. If you can’t afford a professional, ask a fit friend to mentor you. When you know better, you do better. And that’s just smart, right?
Oh! Fitness LLC
8787 Branch Avenue Box #103 ClintonMD20735 USA 
 • (301) 836 - 1326

GymKitchen: Homemade Chicken Curry Coconut Soup

This chicken soup recipe is made without added carbs like noodles or potatoes. It’s filled with fiber, protein and lots of delicious flavor. Enjoy! Servings: 4

Here’s what you need…

Homemade Chicken Curry Coconut Soup

Homemade Chicken Curry Coconut Soup

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 medium organic yellow onion, chopped (110g)
  • 3 medium carrots, grated (184g)
  • 2 medium celery stalks, finely chopped (80g)
  • 1 Tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2tsp minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 2 quarts low sodium chicken broth
  • 1lb cubed raw chicken breast
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium apple, chopped
  • dash of pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 cups unsweetened light coconut milk
  1. In a large pot, over medium heat, melt the coconut oil and add the chicken cubes, onions, carrots and celery. After 5 minutes add the garlic and curry powder.
  2. Next add the chicken broth, chicken, bay leaf, apple, pepper, thyme, and lemon zest. Stir well. Bring to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes.
  3. Remove bay leaf. Stir in the coconut milk, and extra above seasoning/spices to taste and serve. Happy #GymKitchen eating!

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 326 calories, 16g fat, 419mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, and 30g protein

Nutrition Analysis

Nutrition Analysis

Your Sweet Tooth Should Know: 7 ways to crave less sugar

If I were to award a single food item with the title of ‘Fastest Way To Pack On The Pounds’, hands down the winner would be added sugar. 

We have been eating more and more sugar over the past 200 years, which has led to rising obesity numbers. Back in 1822 the average person ate only 6.3 lbs of sugar per year, compared to 130 lbs of sugar in 2012. That’s more than 20 times as much sugar in our modern diet! No wonder we are bigger than ever… 

One of the reasons that your diet is filled with so much sugar is that some form of added sugar is included in virtually every single processed food. This is yet another reason that it’s important to cut down on processed and packaged convenience foods. 

Cutting sugar from your diet is easier said than done. Once it is a part of your daily diet, cravings strike, causing you to eat it even more frequently. But there is hope. 

Here are 7 Ways To Crave Less of that Sugar that you’re eating that’s killing your results and keeping you from attaining your goal weight: 

1) Eat More Protein
A diet rich in protein keeps you full, satisfied and less likely to crave sweets. A great way to make sure that you are getting enough is to plan each meal and snack around a protein. Plan breakfast around eggs, lunch and dinner around baked chicken breast, and make snacks hard boiled eggs or baked meatballs. 

2) Use Artificial Sweeteners Sparingly
One of the biggest fitness myths out there is the idea that calorie-free, artificially sweetened beverages don’t impact your fat loss results. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the truth is that the diet soda you’re sipping is making it harder for you to reach your goal weight. While the diet soda itself doesn’t contain calories, artificial sweeteners have been proven to cause cravings for sugary foods, when eaten alone. Decrease the diet sodas and instead pick up a refreshing bottle of spring water with a wedge of fresh squeezed lemon. 

3) Steer Clear Of Saboteurs
The sad truth is that people in your life will try to sabotage your low sugar diet. You’ll run into that pushy person at the office who insists that you eat a donut, the well-meaning family member who dishes you up a bowl of ice cream, and the friend who comes over with a plate of her home-baked cookies. The best avoidance strategy is to sincerely thank the sugar-pusher for their gift, tell them you wish you could eat it, and then BLAME ME – your trainer – as the bad guy who says that you need to cut back on sugar. 

4) Try Dark Chocolate
For those moments when your sweet tooth is relentlessly badgering you for something sweet, ditch the super-sugary candies and stick with a small square of very dark chocolate. Chocolate that is 70% or higher in cocoa content should be the only candy that you keep on hand. The antioxidant rich benefit of the cocoa, in addition to the lowered sugar content, makes dark chocolate an occasionally justifiable treat. 

5) Stick With Fruit
What’s sweet, colorful and comes in many flavors? Seasonal, fresh fruit, of course! As you remove refined sugar from your life, feel free to add in some natural sugar by way of fresh, local fruit. It’s amazing how satisfyingly sweet fruit is – it’s truly nature’s candy. 

6) Change Your Palate
As you begin to limit your intake of refined sugars, you’ll find that your tolerance for sugar decreases. This means that something that didn’t taste sweet before – say a green apple – now has an uncanny depths of sweetness. What’s happening is that your sweet receptors are becoming more finely tuned, now that you’re not overwhelming your palate with the sweet added sugar. 

7) Workout Like You Mean It
A regular, challenging exercise routine will not only get you into amazing shape, it also reduces your cravings for sugar. The endorphin rush brought on by vigorous exercise is an even more powerful feel-good-feeling than the pleasure gotten by indulging in sugary foods. 

7 Excellent Reasons To Be FIT

I spend a lot of time talking about what it’s like to be working towards your fat loss goal, with your perfect body somewhere off in the distance.
Today I’m going to switch perspectives and turn the focus onto how it feels to BE at your ideal weight. In addition to getting you pumped up and motivated to work even more diligently towards your goal, studies have shown that those who spend time visualizing the accomplishment of their goal have a higher success rate in actually getting there. So if you are still working towards your goal then sit back and let the following 7 Excellent Reasons to be FIT really sink into your mind. Visualize the following as being a part of your reality!
Excellent Reason To Be FIT #1: You Always Look Great When you are at your ideal weight clothes look and feel amazing. Every. Single. Day. Gone are the days of looking for ways to cover your ‘problem’ areas because even those areas look great. Friends, family members and co-workers tell you how fantastic you look and that you’ve never looked better.
Excellent Reason To Be FIT #2: Your Confidence Is High The act of accomplishing any worthwhile goal is enough to seriously boost your confidence, and this is even more apparent when reaching a fitness goal. When your body goes through a transformation there’s no hiding it. You are tighter, leaner and feel more attractive. You stand straighter, walk taller and exude a genuine confidence that can’t be missed.
Excellent Reason To Be FIT #3: You Have Lots Of Energy Before you met your fat loss goal, getting off the couch was a challenge…one that you didn’t always win. Once you became fit, new surges of energy course through your veins. You thrive on motion, and activities that used to tire you out now leave you energized.
Excellent Reason To Be FIT #4: You Are Strong The life of a truly fit person knows no limits! In your free time you hike, bike, run, walk, pick up new hobbies and play with the kids. Picking up items that used to feel heavy is now a breeze as your functionality for daily tasks has never been stronger. Gone are the days when you’d tell yourself, “I can’t do that. I’m not strong enough.”
Excellent Reason To Be FIT #5: You Have No Health Worries You’ll never forget the look on your doctor’s face when examining your transformed body. Gone is the lecture about the many risks of weight-related ailments. Those days are behind you. Your healthy, strong thriving body is health-worry-free.
Excellent Reason To Be FIT #6: You No Longer Have Weight To Lose How long have you been trying to lose the fat and get down to your ideal weight? Long time, right? In all that time your fat loss goal has been a giant monkey on your back – always in the back of your mind, always weighing you down. Guess what? Poof! That giant monkey disappeared the day you reached your goal weight an in its place came a sweet, carefree peace of mind.
Excellent Reason To Be FIT #7: You Are Able To Enjoy Life Once you transformed your body, life got decidedly more fun and exciting. You never knew how much your weight had held you back from excitement and adventure until the day that burden was lifted. You now enjoy life with carefree abandonment – the way you were designed to.

GymKitchen: Healthy Low Sodium Hot Dogs…a Labor Day Staple!

Did you know the average hot dogs contains over 500mg of sodium? I challenge you to search for one that’s lower than what’s usually on your grill. Applegate makes a really good low sodiium hot dog…at only 330mg!

Here’s how my old favs stack up…Applegate Hot dog

  • Nathan’s  …648mg
  • Hebrew National…520mg
  • Ball Park…520mg

Applegate Analysis: One serving equals: 110 calories, 8 fat, 0g carbohydrate, 7g protien, 330mg sodium, 0g sugar, 0g fiber, 2.5g fiber

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GymKitchen: Spinach & Egg White Basil Pesto Wrap

This wrap is delicious for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s ready in a flash, tastes amazing, and is filled with lean protein, veggies and whole sprouted grains. Try it today, but don’t be surprised if you get hooked! It’s already saved in MyFitnessPal just for you. Servings: 1

Here’s what you need:

Spinach Egg White Basil Pesto Wrap Recipe

Spinach Egg White Basil Pesto Wrap Recipe

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup tomato, finely chopped, no seeds
  • 1 cup spinach, roughly chopped
  • 3 egg whites
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 sprouted grain tortilla
  • 1 Tablespoon Cibo Naturals pesto (or combine 1 cups basil leaves, 1 clove garlic, 1/4 fresh parmesan cheese, and 2 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil in a food processor and blend until it becomes a paste.)
  1. Spread a tablespoon of pesto over the tortilla and set aside.
  2. In medium sized skillet warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until golden. Add the tomato and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until it is soft and wilted. Remove the veggies from skillet, set aside in a bowl.
  3. Pour the egg whites into the skillet, season with pepper. Cook until the egg is no longer runny.
  4. Arrange egg whites in a line down the center of the tortilla. Top with veggies and then fold the ends up and wrap like a burrito.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 322 calories, 30g carbohydrate, 17g fat, 19g protein, 6g fiber, 254mg sodium, and 1g sugar.
Spinach Egg white basil pesto wrap oh fitness llc recipe nutrition
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Want great legs? Here’s how…

5 Moves For Sculpted & Toned Legs

Legs are one of the most common problem areas that folks complain about. Can you relate?

Do you avoid wearing shorts and hate the thought of a bathing suit?

If your thighs rub together, buns jiggle and dimples appear, it’s time to step up your leg routine.

Whatever you’d like to improve about your legs, it isn’t going to fix itself. The best strategy for getting killer legs is to include strength training for your lower body in your regular exercise routine.

To tone and sculpt your legs, here are five exercises you can do a few times a week to make a difference there. Stick with it and you’ll be showing off those legs before you know it.

Tone Your Legs Move #1: The Front Box SquatFront Box Squat Oh Fitness LLC
A properly done squat is a powerhouse of an exercise. In one movement you work your glutes, hips and thighs. Talk about hitting all the problem areas!

Generally a box/chair squat is considered the safest, since it places less stress on the knees. Here’s how to do a proper box/chair squat. Position your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back straight, core tight, chest up, and shoulders back, squat down like you’re going to sit in a chair. Bend at the knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor, keeping your knees from extending past your toes. Exhale & push through your heels as you stand back up. Repeat for up to 20 repetitions without resting. As your endurance builds, feel free to add resistance by adding weights.

Tone Your Legs Move #2: Curtsy Lunge KickCurtsy Lunge Kick Oh Fitness LLC
This move is a little more complicated but worth the effort. It works your abs, buttocks, and legs—including your inner thighs.

To do the curtsy lunge kick, first stand up straight with your arms bent and hands by hip. Step back, crossing behind your other leg & lowering your body down. Your torso should lean forward slightly too. Next, push down on your front foot to return to your starting point. Lastly, swing the other leg straight out to the side as high as you can. Do up to 20 reps. Then repeat on the other side.

Tone Your Legs Move #3: The Mountain ClimberMountain Climber Oh Fitness LLC
This rocking leg exercise mimics the movement of climbing a steep mountain. The faster you move your legs, the more of a cardio workout you’ll get as well.

Get into a push-up position: hands and toes on the floor holding up your body. Holding in your abs, lift your right foot, and bring your right knee toward your chest. Tap the floor with your right foot, and then extend your leg back to starting position. Repeat with your left leg, bringing your left knee up toward your chest and tap the floor. Return to start position. Repeat with both legs for up to 20 repetitions.

Tone Your Legs Move #4: The LungeLunge Oh Fitness LLC
The lunge is arguably the best leg exercise, as it works pretty much every leg muscle as well as your buttocks. There are quite a few variations to the simple lunge, but to do the basic lunge, stand up straight and tighten your core.

Step forward several feet with your right foot, lightly landing heel first. Bend both legs down until bent at 90 degrees and your left knee is about an inch above the floor (if you can). Your knee shouldn’t extend further than your toes. Keep your body upright, tighten your core and work to keep your balance by not wobbling from side to side. Lift your body up and bring your hips forward until you’re standing straight. Repeat on the other side, lunging forward with your left foot. Complete 20 lunges per leg.

Tone Your Legs Move #5: The Step-UpStep Up Oh Fitness LLC
Step-ups are great because they mimic movements you perform in daily life. This exercise works your legs and also gets your heart pumping. When you step-ups you can hold a dumbbell in each hand to increase resistance. In addition, you’ll need a fitness box step, bottom stair, sturdy box, or low stable chair.

Step up with your right foot, pushing off of your front foot and then bring your left foot up. Step back down, so both feet are on the floor. Repeat, stepping up first with your left foot. Continue doing this 20 times with each leg.

Incorporate these moves into your routine to tone your legs, lift your buns, strengthen your core, and to encourage healthy weight loss.

Amazon Image

GymKitchen: Fruity Tuna Salad

Here’s a simple and light version of tuna salad. It cuts out high-calorie mayonnaise and adds some chopped fruit and vegetables to really liven it up. Interesting right?  Servings: 3 

Here’s what you need…

  • Fruity Tuna Salad Recipe

    Fruity Tuna Salad Recipe

    1 green apple, chopped

  • 2 green onions, tops only, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 cans albacore tuna, in water, drained
  • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup red grapes, halved
  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl and serve immediately. I like to serve this salad in large butter lettuce leaves. Happy #gymkitchen eating!

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 336 calories, 17g carbohydrate, 16g fat, 33g protein, 486mg sodium, 4g fiber, and 14g sugar.

Fruity Tuna Salad Nutrition

Fruity Tuna Salad Nutrition

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3 Food Tricks for Faster Results

A challenging workout is an essential part of any fat loss plan. It sculpts your muscles, raises your resting metabolism, whittles down your waist and gives you functional strength and endurance.

The only catch is that you can seriously slow, or even reverse, your results by eating poorly. There’s nothing quite as frustrating as when you are working out like a champ only to face the same belly rolls each morning!

To keep you from giving up in frustration, I’ve put together the following 3 Easy Food Tricks to amp up your results.

Why am I calling these tricks? A trick usually implies that someone is getting fooled, and, well, in this scenario you’re that someone. These tricks will fool your taste-buds and your mouth into thinking that you’re eating your regular favorites, when, in fact, you’ll actually be eating a meal with fewer calories, fewer carbs and more fiber.

This means quicker fat loss and smaller belly rolls.

That sounds fantastic, right? So let’s dig right in…

Easy Food Trick #1: RICE
Rice is a big part of many a meal. There’s white rice, brown rice, stir fried rice, sticky rice, wild rice and the list goes on. All of these kinds of rice (yes, even brown rice) are packed with carb and calories. This is great, if you are a growing child or an athlete, but not so great for someone with a fat loss goal.

Rather than give up rice completely, because that would make your veggies and meat look really lonely on a half-empty plate, let’s turn to Easy Food Trick #1.

CAULIFLOWER RICE: Now, don’t get skeptical on me until you give this food trick a try. To make rice from cauliflower first wash it and trim the leaves and stems. Chop into small pieces and then run those pieces through a food processor with the grating attachment. This will result in a rice-like consistency. Place the cauliflower rice in a large skillet with a Tablespoon of olive oil and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Season and you are good to go. Serve your normal vegetable and meat dishes over a bed of cauliflower rice just as you would traditional rice. To much prep work? Then at least eat half the rice you usually do.

Easy Food Trick #2: NOODLES
Have you ever noticed that when you crave your favorite pasta dish, you’re actually just craving the sauce? Noodles alone are bland and unspectacular. The magic, as well as the protein, is in the sauce.

Noodles, like traditional rice, are packed with calories and carbs that get in the way of your fat loss results. So, rather than just eating a bowl of sauce, try Easy Food Trick #2.

ZUCCHINI NOODLES: Again, try this trick before you knock it, I’m guessing that you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Wash a zucchini, and then run a vegetable peeler down its sides, creating long, wide noodles. Stop when you reach the inner, seedy part of the zucchini. These raw, zucchini noodles do not require any cooking, simply throw them onto your plate and top with your favorite pasta sauce. (Of course, I’m assuming that you’re not going to use a white, cream-based sauce, but that’s another article for another day.). Too much work for you? Then try zero calorie Shirataki Noodles instead.

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Easy Food Trick #3: BREAD, BUNS, TORTILLAS
Cauliflower rice and zucchini noodles are all find and dandy for those meals that you prepare at home, but what about your meals eaten out? Many restaurant meals revolve around bread, buns or tortillas. These things are tasty, yet filled with calories and carbs that add to those annoying belly rolls.

That’s when you turn to Easy Food Trick #3.

THE LETTUCE WRAP: This trick is more popular than the first two, so you may already be familiar with it. How does it work? When ordering your meal, be it a sandwich, burger or tacos, ask that it be wrapped in lettuce in place of the bread, bun or tortilla. Most places are really cool about it, and you end up getting to eat the good part of the meal – the meat and flavors—without the carb-filled extras. If for some reason the restaurant is unable to wrap it in lettuce for you, then ask for the filling to be placed on a pile of greens and eat it with a fork. I get the bunless burger at Red Robin every time I go! That way, I can eat my fries and not feel like I had a carb overload!

Try these 3 Easy Food Tricks out for the next 30 days, and see how quickly your fat loss results ramp up. The improved results will motivate you to workout harder and more consistently, which will then add to an even greater desire to eat better. Win win!

Get Back on Track To Fitness After Your Vacation

So you went away, saw a new part of the world, and now you’re back. You ate, you drank, you relaxed, and then you ate some more. 

And now it’s time to face the music. 

It finally hits you… after your week of less-than-healthy eating… Your body is puffy and bloated. Your joints are achy. Your clothes feel tight. 

Are you are feeling that way right now? 

Here are 5 steps to get you back on the fitness fast track after your trip. 

Step One: Focus
Your vacation happened. You ate things from the “don’t eat this” list, you drank more that you should have…but now it’s over. 

Draw a line in the sand. You’re back home so the bad eating stops now. 

If you’re serious about your fitness goals, then your vacation was the welcomed exception, and not the rule. Don’t beat yourself up for letting loose on your trip. Simply get back up, dust yourself off, get focused and back on the horse. 

Step Two: Hydrate
While travel days can take on many forms, the end result is most often dehydration and water retention. The only way to restore your balance is to get hydrated. 

Your first priority in getting back on track is to drink plenty of water throughout your first few days home. Start with a tall glass of water in the morning and carry a water bottle with you to sip & fill throughout the day. 

For flavor and an antioxidant kick, add sliced fresh fruit (i.e. lemon, strawberry, kiwi…), herbs or vegetables (i.e. cucumber) to your water, just like at the spa. 

Step Three: Cleanse
For your first few days home I need you to be extra picky about what you eat. Stick with only whole, real foods like fruits, vegetables and lean meats. Whole, real foods will help to restore balance and block out cravings. That’s all a cleanse is…getting rid of the junk and gunk by replacing with the naturally good.

Don’t eat any packaged foods for the next few days. This means no snack foods, processed meat slices, pasta, baked goods or alcohol. 

If it doesn’t grow on a tree, sprout up from the ground swim, or walk on all fours, it’s processed.

Step Four: Rest
As relaxing as vacation days are, most end with the feeling of exhaustion. Make catching up on sleep a priority over the next few days. 

When your body is low on sleep, it becomes easier to make poor eating choices. You’re also less likely to get back into your workouts if you don’t give your body a chance to rest. 

Aim for getting a full 6-8 hours of sleep each night. 

Step Five: Exercise
It’s time to sweat out all those vacation indulgences. So lace up your athletic shoes and put on your favorite gym clothes. When you start your first workout, ease in slowly. Take the time to warm up and stretch your muscles before powering up to a solid routine.