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Marissa Nieves, Lifestyle Coach and Sports Model provides clear avenues to success in health and fitness ! Follow us on Blogger to kick start or maintain your best life !!


Thanks for joining us on the road to wellness !

Marissa

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Interview with Amy Lyons !

Lucky us !

 
Last week we were fortunate enough to interview professional runner and vegan chef Amy Lyons.

Meet Amy. This girl has talent !!


 
Amy is a true health ambassador, experiencing healthy living first hand and sharing with us the very best in raw and vegan delights through her blog www.fragrantvanillacake.blogspot.com/

Here's what Amy had to share with us at Pure Life Fitness ...
 

When did your passion in health and fitness begin ?

My fitness began in highschool when I was in track, cross country, and nordic skiing. I have always had a love for endurance sports, and it continued into college where I continued to run competatively until I joined a local race team.

Could you share some highlights of your running career with us ?

I was All American in Cross Country in college, and I hold several Minnesota age records from my late teens and early 20s in the 5k, 10k, and 8k. At that point, I could run a sub 16:30 5k and Sub 34 minute 10k. 

How important is it to you that you exercise and eat healthily ?

Eating healthy and exersizing are essential parts of my life. In order to feel my best and look my best, they are things that need to be paid attention to daily. Afterall, you only get one body, so you should treat it well!

When did you first take to the kitchen ?

I first started experimenting in the kitchen when I was a freshmen in college. I would get cookbooks from the library and make a different dish that I considered difficult every day. This is how I learned to cook!

What made you choose a raw/vegan lifestyle ?

I am not strictly raw, about 60% I would say right now, and I recently started eating vegan in the last year. I have been a vegetarian since college. I started the raw food because my boyfriend asked me to make him a cheesecake with no dairy or soy (he eats mostly raw), and I decided to try making a raw cheesecake. I fell in love with it, and wanted to make more and more raw food because it was so tasty! I have since been enjoying raw savory dishes as well, and I love how it makes me feel. I feel like I am eating healthier than I ever have in my life!

Was there any one person, event or experience that gave you an “ah-ha” moment to start your blog ?

I started the blog because I was sharing so many recipes on facebook with my friends that I decided that a larger audience might appriciate them as well!

Some chefs tell me they were interested in food from a very early age. Was this true for you?

I wasn't interested in cooking as a youngster, the closest I came was helping my Grandma bake cookies. I got interested later when I was eating different things, and I decided that in order to eat what I wanted I needed to cook.

What is your all time favourite recipe ?

I don't have any one recipe that is my favorite, but I love all of my raw cheesecakes. Especially the one I made for my Birthday, Pretty In Pink Cheesecake with berries, vanilla and floral notes.

Do you read other cookbooks/blogs ? If so, is there one you would you recommend to someone just starting out ?

I learned a lot from the cookbook, Passionate Vegetarian. I was always checking it out from the library before I bought it in college. I have always been a fan of Bon Appetit Magazine, their photos are lovely. Lately I have been enjoying a few blogs featuring raw food. Sweetly Raw is amazing, and she has e-books to purchase. I also enjoy Golubka, and Rawmazing, their food is increadible...I hope to create such raw dishes someday!

What advice would you offer someone interested in beginning to create raw/vegan dishes ?

I would say, don't be intimidated, just go for it! I was scared to try making raw food at first because I felt like I didn't have the skill, or it wouldn't turn out, but it is really quite simple once you get the hang of it! Plus no oven use required! As far as vegan goes, don't believe them when they say you will miss dairy and meat. There are plenty of things much tastier that are vegan that you can create!

Are there any staples or utensils that every vegan/raw kitchen should have?

Kitchen tools that are a must for me lately are my food processor, blender, dehydrater and of course a good sharp knife! Nuts, seeds, and good oils like olive oil and coconut oil are always on hand at my house and important. Also dried fruit (not sweetened) and dates, as well as raw oats and things like nutritional yeast. Always have plenty of fresh produce as well!

So many of my readers, including myself, would like to be healthier home cooks. Could you share your cooking philosophy with us ?

My cooking philosphy is real food is best. By real, I mean food that is as unprocessed as possible, organic, local and fresh!

 

Thanks so much to Amy for her time, education and dedication to her own well being. I hope we can all take something from Amy's philosophy and tips on healthy living. It is people like her who are now leading the way in the natural health revolution ! Stay healthy happy and committed to your own health.

Thank you for visiting the site ! Please feel free to leave comments, ask questions or get involved in our healthy living programs !!

Always committed to your success,

Marissa
 

Protein. Let's talk.

It’s every bodybuilder’s favorite macronutrient and for good reason. It's on the top of the list for discussion in lectures and round table discussions.


 

Protein is wonderful. It an essential part of our make up, is extremely satiating and is a true anabolic.

Though how much is too much ? Would it be too much if your kidneys exploded ??

Today I woke up to make my morning smoothie and decided upon something different. I was going to combine all the ingredients I use for my "usual" but would grind the nuts, grains and seeds to store in the fridge as a protein mix.




This got me thinking. While I am blessed to have studied nutrition and know how to create my perfect protein concoction for myself .. what about everyone else? Are they really still using synthesised products in an attempt to get their daily dose of the good stuff?

 


The answer is yes. Millions of people all over the world are still stuffing their bodies with flavoured powder in order to justify their protein intake.

Fitness professionals all over the world are still recommending a daily intake of approximately 1g per pound of body weight.

Well, isn't it the building block to our body !? Yes. Of course. Protein is awesome… but..

You are consuming too much of it .

According to the FSC, a balanced diet is recommended to allow a daily protein intake of 50g. This is almost a quarter of what most athletes are consuming.

Dr Mike Roussell put's it in plain text when he refers to protein saying "it can be downright dangerous".

Excess protein can lead to calcium deposits as the body is attempting to alkalise and maintain it's norml PH (somewhere between 7 and 7.4. You guessed it, this can lead to kidney stones and other urinary tract problems. Ouch !

So if excess protein is not conducive to a healthy body, why are we consuming pounds of supplements in an effort to become lean and mean ?


Not sure..

Absolutely, one upon a time when people weren't health conscious there was a drastic need for a supplment to aid consumption of protein but these days with all the amino acid talk, what we need to look at is getting enough protein from food sources and less from synthesised chemicals containing harmful metals that will affect us long term.

So, we all know the downside to over consuming of protein and subjecting our bodies to large quantities of supplements filled with disease causing chemicals.. but what are the highest protein foods and how much do we need ?

If you consume meat and eggs, a combination of 1 or 2 of the following coupled with foods from the table below may actually give you all the protein you need.

Eggs

Eggs are one of those foods that always makes the top five list when it comes to nutrient density and high protein content. They should always come from organic, free range chickens to provide optimum nutrition to the body. 1 large whole egg on average contains:
  • Fat: 5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams

Chicken Breast

Chicken breast is a staple of bodybuilding building diets because it’s considered very high in protein. What isn't taken into consideration is the health of the chicken, how it was manufactured and therefore what benefits it is actually bringing to the body. One serve of organic free range chicken breast of 50g contains on average:
  • Fat: 0.6 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Protein: 11.5 grams

Tuna Steak (Raw)

Tuna is one of the highest protein foods in the seafood department. A 50g serving of clean fish contains:
  • Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Protein: 11.7 grams

Vegetarian

If you prefer not to eat meat, you are not limited by choice !! The table below has kindly been outlined by the Vegetarian Althete sourced from the World Health Organisation.

You may be surprised to know how many foods actually contain protein.

Amino acidWHO Mg/ kg body weight WHO Mg/ 55 kg (121 lbs)WHO Mg/ 80 kg (176 lbs)Good dairy/egg sources (per 200 calories)Best vegan sources (per 200 calories)
I Isoleucine2011001600
Egg whites 2754 mg
Cottage cheese lowfat 2022 mg
Soy protein 2650 mg
Watercress 1691 mg
Chard 1540 mg
Spinach 1322 mg
Sunflower seed flour 1474 mg
Kidney beans 1297 mg
L Leucine3921453120
Egg whites 4233 mg
Cottage cheese lowfat 3540 mg
Soy protein 4226 mg
Watercress 3017 mg
Alfalfa seeds raw 2322 mg
Kidney beans 2103 mg
Tofu 2500mg
Sesame flour 2307 mg
Sunflower seed flour 2148 mg
K Lysine3016502400
Egg white 3358 mg
Cream cheese 2859 mg
Cottage cheese lowfat 2784 mg
Soy protein 3319 mg
Watercress 2436 mg
Tofu 2253 mg
M Methionine+ C Cysteine15 (total)8251200
Egg whites 1660 mg
Sesame flour 994 mg
Seaweed spirulina 908 mg
Soy protein 690 mg
F Phenylalanine+ Y Tyrosine25 (total)13752000
Egg whites 2435 mg
Cottage cheese lowfat 1856 mg
Cottage cheese 1489 mg
Cream cheese 1465 mg
Cheddar cheese 1363 mg
Soy protein 2862 mg
Cottonseed flour 1870 mg
Sesame flour 1596 mg
Kidney beans 1473 mg
Spinach 1428 mg
T Threonine158251200
Egg white 1942 mg
Watercress 2418 mg
Soy protein 1755 mg
Spinach 1496 mg
Sesame seed flour 1250 mg
Sunflower seed flour 1202 mg
Kidney beans 1230 mg
W Tryptophan4220320
Egg white 673 mg
Mozzarella cheese 399 mg
Cottage cheese lowfat 383 mg
Soy protein 695 mg
Spinach 690 mg
Sesame flour 659 mg
Sunflower seed flour 451
Watercress 544 mg
Turnip greens 400 mg
Broccoli rabe 390 mg
Asparagus 322 mg
Kidney beans 303 mg
Oat bran 280 mg
V Valine2614302080Egg white 3371 mg
Soy protein 2554 mg
Watercress 2491 mg
Mushrooms, white 193 mg
Sunflower seed flour 1703 mg
Sesame seed flour 1682 mg
Snow/snap peas 1595 mg
Kidney beans 1503 mg

Do your body a favour and find the healthy balance in your life.

If you have explored all avenues and are sure you require excess protein in your diet, consider protein swapping so you are not eating large quantities of foods and synthesised products that are harming your body long term.

Choose an array of foods from the table above to compliment your training and keep hormones controlled, thus providing better functioning, allowing better workouts and ultimately creating a more balanced body.

Our bodies are incredible machines that have the ability to provide us with strength, lean muscle mass, energy and functionality.

Give your body a chance by fueling it right and you may just be surprised what can be acheived.

Stay motivated and dedicated to your health.

Always committed to your success,

Marissa
www.marissanieves.com
http://marissapurelifefitness.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/purelife/?preview=true&preview_id=53&preview_nonce=5bd56f16b7

Monday, August 27, 2012

Cheesecake your body will love !

Love a good cheesecake but don't like the added sugars and fats they give you? Hmm.



Whenever I start a Pure Life Fitness program, I am faced with concerned clients who are worried about how they are going to attend their next social function without being tempted by unhealthy food.
 
I find many people either trying to adapt their nutritional lives around certain events (I'll be good this week because next week is a right off) or feel left out when they attend a party. Time and time again I hear..
 
"I can't go to a party and not eat the food, it's rude!", "I'll be hungry and wont be able to survive the night. I will need to eat something".
 
The truth is your family and friends will be happy to see you whether you eat at the event or not (chances are they probably wont even notice). I always eat at home before I go out and often take a great party trick along with me (a great raw dessert). Most of the time (with the exception of my 1st raw carrot cake), the plate is empty before I can even put it down!
 
I have never felt left out or isolated because I eat healthy. In fact, it's quite the opposite. People are often interested in what I do and I often find myself at parties playing tag with other health professionals (or like minded individuals) answering health-related questions. People love to know how they can create a better life for themselves by looking and feeling great.. it increases their quality of life and level of happiness.
 
Truth be told, sugar of any kind in large quantities can have damaging effects to the body and a huge downfall of the RAW revolution is that refined sugars are not only being "replaced" by natural sugars but I'm finding raw recipes are  increasingly becoming sugar "based" meals.
 
For those who ask me.. if you feel like a cheesecake, what do you do? Here is the answer. It isn't often that I crave sweets or sugary foods as my body is generally getting all the nutrients it requires to satisfy it completely.
 
However, often I do feel like sharing in festivities with friends and family and I will go about making a lovely raw and unprocessed gift for the party.
 
Competitive runner Amy, has shared some of her gorgeous vegan raw cheesecake recipes below.
 
Check out more of Amy's creations at www.fragrantvanillacake.blogspot.com

"A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools".
(Spanish Proverb)
 
Raw Blackberry Lemon/Lavender Cheesecake

 
Ingredients
 
Crust
 
3/4 cup hazelnuts
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3 soft medjool dates, pitted and chopped
 
Filling
2 1/2 cups raw cashews (preferably soaked overnight)
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp lemon zest
1/3 cup plus 3 Tbsp agave nectar
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp coconut oil (warmed to liquid)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract and seeds from half a vanilla bean (other half reserved for topping)
2 Tbsp organic dried lavender flowers
1 cup fresh organic blackberries
 
Blackberry Puree
 
1/4 cup blackberries
1 Tbsp agave nectar
Cream Topping

1/2 cup raw cashew pieces (preferably soaked overnight)
1/2 cup cococut water
3/4 cup fresh young coconut meat* (or additional soaked cashews if not available)
2 tablespoons agave syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla and seeds of half a vanilla bean (the other half of the one you used for the filling)
1/4 cup coconut oil (warmed to liquid)


 
 
Directions
 
To prepare the crust, spray a 6 inch spring form pan with nonstick spray. Process hazelnuts and sea salt in a food processor until the hazelnuts are fine crumbs, then add the dates and process until the mixture holds together when squeezed between your fingers.
 
Firmly press crust into the bottom of prepared pan. Set aside.
 
To make filling, drain cashews and combine them with lemon juice, and zest, agave nectar, coconut oil, sea salt and vanilla in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Remove the filling from the food processor, stir in lavender and divide evenly between 2 bowls. Place half back into the food processor and add 1 cup blackberries.
 
Puree until smooth and scrape back in the bowl. For the blackberry puree, using an immersion blender (or you can rinse out the food processor) combine the 1/4 cup blackberries and 1 Tbsp agave nectar and puree until smooth. Drop the filling alternating between the vanilla and blackberry in about 3 tbspful amounts over crust in pan, until all is used up, sort of in a checkerboard fashion. Tap on the counter to level (keeping pan level). 
 
Drop some of the puree in teaspoonful amounts over the top of the cake (reserving some for serving) and swirl with a knife to create marbling. Place in the freezer until it is set, 6 hours about. After that store in the fridge until ready to top.
To make topping, drain cashews and blend all ingredients until smooth in a food processor, and set in the freezer about 30 minutes until a frosting consistency. Place in a pastry bag and pipe decoratively on top of the cheesecake. Store in the fridge when not enjoying.
Strawberry Key Lime Cheesecake
 
 
 
 
Ingredients

3/4 cup pecans
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3 soft medjool dates, pitted and chopped


Filling

2 1/2 cups cashews (preferably soaked overnight), divided
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp organic lime zest
1/3 cup plus 3 Tbsp agave nectar
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp coconut oil (warmed to liquid)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract and seeds from half a vanilla bean (other half reserved for topping)
a few spinach leaves (to color green if desired)
1 cup fresh organic strawberries

Cream Topping

1/4 cup raw cashew pieces (preferably soaked overnight)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp fresh young coconut meat
1 tablespoons agave syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla and seeds of half a vanilla bean (the other half from the filling)
2 Tbsp coconut oil (warmed to liquid)
 
Directions
 
Spray a six inch spring form pan with coconut oil spray (or other oil spray) and set aside.

To prepare the crust, process pecans and sea salt in a food processor until the pecans are fine crumbs, then add the dates and process until the mixture holds together when squeezed between your fingers. Firmly press crust into the bottom of prepared pan. Set aside.
 
 


To make filling, drain cashews and combine them with lime juice and zest, agave nectar, coconut oil, sea salt and vanilla in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Remove the filling from the food processor and divide evenly between 2 bowls.  Place half back into the food processor and add the spinach leaves to tint green and process until smooth and uniform, scrape back into the bowl and rinse out food proocessor. 
 
Stir 1 cup strawberries into the other half of the filling and place back in the processor.  Puree until smooth.  Drop the filling alternating between the lime and strawberry (in about 3 tbspful amounts) over crust in pan until all is used up, sort of in a checkerboard fashion.
 
Tap on the counter to level (keeping pan level) and swirl with a knife to create marbling.  Place in the freezer or fridge until it is set, 4 hours or overnight (overnight in the fridge, but the freezer might get too hard after a few hours).
 
To make topping, drain cashews and blend all ingredients until smooth in a food processor, and set in the freezer about 30 minutes until a frosting consistency. Place in a pastry bag and pipe decoratively on top of the cheesecake.
 
Committed to your success,

Marissa

www.marissanieves.com



Friday, August 24, 2012

REAL advice on which juicer is best for YOU !




I have many people asking for my opinion on the best juicer to buy and in the last few years, I have spent a great deal of time talking to people in the industry, trying juicers first hand and researching their mechanical parts to understand their structure and how they work. 

What have I come up with?

Well, unfortunately, I don't think there is one juicer that suits everyone. Sorry! T
here are just too many different factors involved, from produce types to ease of cleaning, price and primary use to size and space!

What did I learn?

As I spent more time in the juicing maze, I found a number of people 100% dedicated to finding and sharing information on juicing and in my search for the perfect juicer, I found people like Cecilia at Raw Glow who not only cured herself from ill health over 10 years ago but now devotes her time to sharing information with others. Thank you Cecilia! 

Cecilia now educates people all over the world on the benefits of living raw. She has been juicing for over 10 years and has tested and tried a variety of juicers. So I would like to share Cecilia's knowledge with you as we talk about different juicer types.

For the sake of this article, we will assume there are 3 "main'"types of juicers that get the job done. We all know (as most of you learned first hand!) that there are a million juicers on the market all claiming to be better in one way or another. The truth is at the end of it all, it is highly likely they will all fit into one of the 3 categories below:

Centrifugal Ejection

The Centrifugal Ejection juicer is usually on the low end of the juicer price range so is good for those wanting to try juicing but don't want to make a big investment.

It is great for produce that has a large surface area such as hard root vegetables, apples, celery, and most fruit. Because of the fast moving blades you are able to juice pretty quickly and if you put a plastic produce bag in the pulp container, clean-up can be pretty quick as well" 

What are the cons? 

Studies show that Centrifugal juicers create high heat with the fast shredding which reduces the nutrient value of produce and causes oxidisation. Shelf life will also be reduced dramatically. Cecilia say's: "They are usually the type of juicer that you might see on a late night infomercial". 

* Important note for cancer patients: The ICRF suggest cleansing for healing of diseases and cancers should not be undertaken with Centrifugal juicers. They have fast rotaing blades which shred the produce and in reduce the enzyme content of the food.

What are the Pros: 

Cecilia says "The Centrifugal Ejection juicer tends to be loud and it doesn't juice leafy greens well. I have found it to be a dependable good quality juicer, with good construction, a strong motor, produces a high yield, with fairly easy clean-up and a 15 year warranty".   

Cecilia's best buy in this category: is the Omega 4000.

Single Auger

Single Auger juicers crush an squeeze out the juice with one rotating auger. Cecilia says "Single Auger juicers are excellent at juicing leafy greens and even wheatgrass, the crushing motion of the rotating auger gets the best yield from leafy greens and wheatgrass"

What are some other pro's?

Single Auger juicers have the mechanics to juice slowly for optimum nutrition and juicers all types of produce, even root vegetables and leafy greens. They also have the ability to create nut butters. Cecilia suggests these juicers are "more quiet than the centrifugal juicers" and are "probably the easiest.. to clean".

Sounds good. What are the Cons?

Cecilia says "They juice more slowly than the centrifugal ejection types and because of the horizontal auger they tend to take up more counter space than other types of juicers. Although they do greens and wheatgrass wonderfully, they aren't made to do a lot of soft fruits".

Cecilia's choice for the best juicer to buy in this category is the Omega 8004 or 8006. She recommends it for those focused on juicing green vegetables and grasses.

Upright Style Slow/Mastication Juicer

This is a new style of juicer that uses a single auger model except for that the auger is larger and thicker and is turned upright. While single auger juicers have an auger that lays horizontally the upright style juicer's auger stands upright. Just like the single auger style juicer, the upright (sometimes called vertical juicer) uses an auger to crush the produce and extract the juice slowly, leaving the live nutrients in the produce. Personally, this is my choice in a juicer due to all of the above. It juices greens, hard root vegetable, soft fruits and creates nut butters, is quiet, easy to clean, small in size. 

Cecelia recognises these Pros: 

"The upright style juicer has many pros of the single auger juicer and in addition is the only type of juicer that can easily juice firm vegetables, soft fruit, leafy greens, and wheatgrass! You do not need to constantly push the produce into the juicer, the upright style juicer pulls the produce in with minimal effort. It's upright design also takes up less kitchen counter space.

And the Cons:  

Cecelia mentions that this style of juicer "does have a larger screen to clean" compared to a single auger juicer but suggests that "clean up is still pretty quick as long as you run water through the juicer before". 

The juice from the upright juicer will contain a little pulp, which is what I personally like about it. The fibre plus the physical act of mastication (chewing) assists with enzyme control, a better breakdown and quicker absorption.

Well Cecelia agrees that the "upright style juicer is the most versatile type of juicer on the market today because there is no limit to what type of produce you can juice and is the best juicer to buy for those who are juicing a variety of produce". 

My recommendation for the best juicer to buy in this category would be the Hurom 300 slow press juicer as I have personally tried it myself and it makes nut butters and milk.

Cecilia's best pick is the Omega Vert HD 350 which I am told is of identical structure and made in the same factory. Also the Omega offers a full 10 year warranty and Hurom only offers 5 years. 

Omega also stock the Omega Vert 330 HD. Cecilia mentioned that "the only difference between the Omega Vert HD 350 and the Omega Vert 330 HD is that the 350 HD is black and silver and the 330 HD model is white". Good to note!

Well I hope we have managed to assist you with future juicing dilemmas. If you need further advice on what is best for YOU, please contact us at marissa@purelifefitness.com.au. Also check out Cecilia's link www.rawglow.com for some great recipes! 

Enjoy juicing for Health and Vitality !! 

Committed to your success,

Marissa
www.marissanieves.com
www.purelifefitness.com
 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Put away your scales ! I MEAN it !

Now !
 



This blog is a simple and easy one. It relates to a fun game of hide and go seek.

What I'd like you to do is to take your bathroom scale and hide it in a cupboard far away from it's current location. Now the only time to seek it is when you need to measure the weight of your suitcase when you're off on your next vacation to avoid overweight fees. Chances are your bag will be light as you will only be needing a few clothes to show of your hot body in bikinis or shorts !

What I'm going to tell you may astonish you but unless you are a competitor in a weight-classed sport (wrestling, weightlifting) you surely do not need to get on a scale frequently. In fact it can hinder your physical progress and your mindset.

Let's talk about why.

Weightloss is becoming, if it is not already the centrepoint of many people's lives. It is not just women but increasingly more and more men are stepping on the scales now too. We alll know to be healthy and happy we need to implement and maintain a sustainable happy food environment, drink plenty of water, restistance train and improve our cardiovascular health. However, a quick fix is still viewed as a positive in our ever-increasing consumable world.

We are not thinking fat loss anymore as we should be but instead have reverted to the scales in a desperate attempt to drop kilos or pounds quicker than ever. Increasing diets and fitness-related supplements and calorie reducing programs are generally designed to help you lose a bunch of water weight in a short period of time. Any layman can lose up to 20 pounds of water in under 2 weeks but if you are educated and genuinely interested in losing body fat, you will begin to wonder why you may have lost muscle, energy and your pay packet instead of body fat ! Following your few weeks of harsh diet change and supplements you may plateau or need to drop your caloric intake further just to counteract bodily changes (ie. hormone levels).

It's important to note that some diets and programs may actually also lead to a body fat increase but because you are watching the number on the scales decrease and have dropped a pant size (for now) the fact that your body is depleted and really just dropping water weight instead of becoming healthier is irrelevant at the time. Watch the ingredients in weight loss products, they may be clogging your digestive path and without proper digestion and absorption, long term body fat loss will become increasingly challenging.

So with that said, weight loss is very different to fat loss. You can lose both water and muscle at a much faster rate than you can lose body fat.

A perfect example is the Biggest Loser show where contestants compete to see who lost a higher percentage of "bodyweight". Since the contestants are so overweight to begin with, weight loss in the beginning is easy with a quick calorie cut and going to be hightly related to water and fat loss. However, once they reduce some size, it becomes more challenging. The reason ? They are gaining muscle at the same time which weighs alot more than fat so they can’t possibly continue to lose 2% per week! It’s basic math.

Now let's talk about BMI, the Body Mass Index, unnecessary stress put onto the public by the medical industry. All the BMI tells you is if you are carrying excess weight for your height. Most athletes do as they have more muscle mass and they don't have a lot of body fat (which weights very little). They are healthy, fit individuals however are noted to be too heavy and therefore unhealthy.

If you had 7% body fat, the scale would not tell you that. It only tells you how much water weight (generally caused by dehydration from sugars and salt) and muscle you are carrying.

SCALES ONLY TELL YOU HOW MUCH YOU WEIGH.

Remember, water weight can fluctuate daily. Checking scales regularly sounds exhausting !

What we should be looking at is our body fat percentage. You can buy your own do it yourself accu measure body fat tester at  http://www.accumeasurefitness.com/products/fattrack.html. Remember every body fat testing device differs so ensure you are using the same device each time and you are using it in the same manner.

SO, with all this being said.. It's now TIME to go hide your scale and start paying more attention to the mirror, your clothes, a tape measure, body fat tester and the quality of food you are putting into your body.

Remember looks aren't just related to weight gain/loss or body fat percentage. Good clean whole foods can help you gain muscle for tone or building, lose body fat and fluid retention and will also leave your skin glowing, hair shining, eyes brighter and your smile wider !!



I promise you will be healthier and happier :)















Always committed to your success,

Marissa

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Take Supplements Into Your Own Hands !


Vitamins and Supplements - What are they really worth ?

 
As a large array of pills now fill the shelves of pharmacies, health food stores, webstores and even general stores..


most households down a number vitamins and other supplements daily without a thought. This is largely due to their ease and availabilty, an abundance of information for the promotion of these products, heavy marketing campaigns and testimonials by trusted professionals.

Certainly supplements may play a part in optimizing our health, though it's important to think about whether the majority of these products really are enhancing our health and cleansing our bodies or whether a few small changes to our daily intake with proper nutrition could see us reaping even more rewards !
Harvard Health discusses Vitamin Supplements and discusses whether they are really improving our health:


*Exerpt from the Healthbeat report -
"Do vitamins and other supplements live up to their promise?"

Dietary supplements are wildly popular. Over one millions Americans take at least one supplement. The attraction is understandable. Many people want to optimize their health and well-being. The supplement industry has a strong financial interest in meeting this need and promoting their products. But manufacturers do not need to prove the purity, strength, safety, or effectiveness of supplements. And the law does not require proof that claims on the label are true.

A recent issue of the Harvard Men’s Health Watch gives readers an overview of the evidence (for or against) several popular supplements, including vitamin D, selenium, St. John’s wort, and multivitamins. Harvey Simon, M.D., editor of the Harvard Men’s Health Watch cautions readers, “Consumers should always keep an eye out for new study reports. Recommendations will change as scientific studies trickle in. Unfortunately, in most cases, the studies have failed to confirm our hopes, though there are exceptions.”

Despite their popularity, there is no evidence that multivitamins enhance health or prevent illness. In fact, both the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and a National Institutes of Health State-of-the-Science Conference concluded that multivitamins do not offer protection against heart disease or cancer. In contrast, research suggests that fish oil supplements may be beneficial for people with heart disease.

Dr. Simon recommends a thoughtful and careful approach. “It is often hard to balance sober scientific reports with the simple, hopeful promises of well-marketed vitamins and supplements.” The Harvard Men’s Heath Watch offers some tips for doing just that.

Watch for extravagant claims. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually isn’t true. Take testimonials and endorsements with a grain of salt, especially those from celebrities. Even the most sincere, well-intended recommendations offered by friends and relatives without financial incentives can’t establish a product’s safety or efficacy.

It isn’t true that “if a little is good, more is better.” In fact we have learned that even the most harmless sounding supplement can have unintended negative effects.

Beware of meaningless terms. The list includes “all-natural,” “antioxidant-rich,” “clinically proven,” “anti-aging,” and other vague but seductive claims that a product can work wonders. Even if you take supplements, be sure to eat well, exercise regularly, and work with your doctor to keep your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar in good control, advises the Men’s Health Watch. Tell your clinicians about any and all supplements you take; full disclosure is important, particularly since supplements can have adverse interactions with medications.

Not sure where to begin? Your best bet is to eat as clean, pure and natural as possible. Consuming organic or home grown produce or taking the time to seek out fresh natural produce will help not only your digestion, absorption and nutritional intake but you will also see the difference in your energy levels, skin, hair, heart health, circulation, may prevent past, present or furture illness and increase your overall sense of wellbeing.



If you know you are not meeting your daily requirements of vitamins and minerals, a supplement may be beneficial to you. It's super important to discuss your needs with a health professional such as a nutritionist, naturopath or natural doctor prior to starting on any supplement plan. Don't just take the label or someone elses word for the health of your body, take your health into your own hands and decide for yourself whether a synthesised product of any kind is right for you.

Decide now to find out exactly what you are putting into your body each day and make the changes to need to improve your overall well being.

Your body will thank you for taking the time and making the difference !!

Always committed to your success,

Marissa

BEST Sugar Free Easter Recipes !

4 BEST Sugar Free Easter Recipes !

WHY miss out on all the fun of Easter just because you don't want to eat high fat/sugar foods !

Enjoy these gorgeous healthy recipes. You'll no doubt be the talk of the weekend :)
I honestly don't think Easter has ever been so exciting !!

1. Love Heart Eggs - Sarah Wilson
Imagine waking up to these special hearts on Easter morning. The kids will love it and they're not just for them :)


2. Sugar Free Easter Bunny Cookies - Elana's Pantry
This recipe comes from Elana's Pantry, a gluten-free blog.


Sarah Wilson discusses it on her page and suggests swapping the agave for 2 tbsp of rice malt syrup (one of the healthiest sugar syrups available). You could alternatively swap the agave for 2 tbsp of 100% stevia extract for a healthy treat and fewer calories.
  • 1 ¾ cup blanched almond flour
  • pinch celtic sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed [or olive or macadamia - Sarah] oil
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (packed)
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
In a large bowl combine almond flour and salt. In a smaller bowl combine oil, agave, vanilla and lemon zest.
Stir wet ingredients into dry, then work in poppy seeds. Roll dough out to ¼ inch thick.
Cut out little bunnies with a bunny cookie cutter. Bake at 180 C for 6-8 minutes, until golden brown around the edges.

3. Paleo Breakfast Bread
When hot cross buns are all the rage, tempt yourself with this yummy grain-free bread !

  • ½ cup almond butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon stevia
  • ¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
In a large bowl, with a hand blender, mix almond butter until creamy. Mix in eggs, honey, vanilla and stevia. Add salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Mix well with hand blender until all ingredients are combined. Transfer batter into a well greased 8x8 inch pyrex dish. Bake at 325° for 12 to 15 minutes.
You could even add a little raw cacao to the mix to add a chocolate flavour !

4. Easter Egg Salad

This clean easter recipe is from the Clean Cuisine website.
  • 2 pastured organic eggs, hardboiled and chopped (see directions for how to hard boil eggs below)
  • 2 tablespoons store-bought hummus (look for one made with extra virgin olive oil)- and no additives
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard - 100%
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (if not serving to kids try fresh tarragon instead)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped sweet pickles
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons finely chopped sundried tomatoes, marinated in extra virgin olive oil

1. In a large bowl, combine the egg, hummus, mustard, parsley, pickles, celery and salt and pepper. Mash well with a fork or wooden spoon. Stir in the sundried tomatoes if using.

2. Serve on crust-less bread as a sandwich or over crisp lettuce as a salad.

You might like to use spinach and rocket as a greens base and pour the salad over the top !


Have a fun, safe and healthy Easter Weekend !!!!! :)

Marissa