Fitness

How to Pick the Perfect Protein Powder

Posted by on Aug 4, 2014 in Corn Free, Gluten Free, Healthy Eating, protein shakes | 1 comment

How to Pick the Perfect Protein Powder

I get quite a few questions about protein powders. Like everyone else I had my fair share. However, what people fail to realize is whatever your body doesn’t use up, it will get stored in your fat cells. And while low carb, paleo, SCD diets are all fine, we still have to be careful of higher protein diets. See my posts on Paleo Diet Good for Most and The Positives of Paleo). I want to teach you how to choose a healthy, high quality protein powder while disclosing the truth on protein powders. I think there is a time and place for protein powders, just not every single day. I also want to educate you how to read your protein powder labels so you can make a wise decision whether or not. After posting and asking which ones are the best I want to help you better understand what to look for in a protein powder. Most are junk and full of synthetic GMO junk, but there are some other good clean brands out there. To Whey or Not Whey? You wan to buy a whey protein concentrate powder that is a high-quality whey protein. It must be cold pressed, derived from grass-fed cows, and free of GMOs, chemicals, and sugar. This type of whey protein and how it is made contains all the essential amino acids, keeps its nutrients in tact and has higher nutrient value than commercial processed protein powders. When whey protein is heat pressed, it denatures the protein. Whey protein Isolate is a denatured protein, your body cannot process this form of protein (whether soy or whey). Since isolates are heat processed, it destroys all of the amino acids needed to help your body absorb protein properly. What often happens is companies will fortify the nutrients and vitamins back into the powder often with synthetic vitamins and sweeten it with junkie sugars such as sucralose, fructose and some other sugar alcohol that ends in “ol.” If you are not sure about how the protein powder is made, call the company and ask what type of dairy they use and how do they process it. Soy? Not so much.. Soy is a very, very hard legume to digest and most of us cannot digest it. It is a close cousin to peanuts, and some who have serious peanut allergies may need to stay away from soy too. Soy is best digested when it is fermented in the forms of miso, tempeh and natto. The problem is about 95% of soy in America is mostly a GMO crop. I recall back in my more active fitness days, I would drink my strawberry soy protein shake with my soy milk thinking I was sooo healthy…all it did was make my stomach more bloated and distressed. Protein powders should be easy to digest, not cause more distress. When the body is presented with a synthetic isolate, the body may need to draw on its stores of cofactors needed to better absorb the vitamins and minerals, namely proteins, carbs, fats, bioflavonoids, and enzymes, but this is not always the case. And men, soy may decrease your libido and can cause temporary infertility because it decreases testosterone. Women, it will mess with your thyroid too because of its high estrogen content. (You can read more here on The Whole Soy Story). My opinion, stay way from all forms of soy protein powders. Pea Protein and Rice Protein Makes a Perfect Protein If you are like me you want something that is gluten, soy and dairy free, but finding  one that tastes good...

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Honoring Marla Richmond, a true mompreneur and pioneer in health and fitness

Posted by on Sep 18, 2012 in Fitness | 2 comments

After meeting with an old high school classmate, she said to me, I had to look you up and when I saw your face, I was like, oh I remember her, she was so nice. It made me feel good. Recently, I was invited to sit on a committee for a medical based fitness organization. I have sat on quite a few committees, but this particular one I was privledged to be asked and be involved. It was for the Marla Richmond M.S. Memorial Education Award‏. I then found myself asking, How Do You Want To Be Remembered in Life? I was on a different committee at the time in the fall of 2009. It was to interview candidates for the Board of Directors. There were two openings. I was slated to interview two candidates, one just happened to be a local attorney. Through email, we made arrangements to speak on the phone for the interview. Evenings worked well for me so my husband could put my daughter to sleep. I was expecting my second child. The candidate and I had a great conversation and why he should be on the Board of Directors. After some time, he spoke about his wife, her involvement with the organization, her influence and passion in the fitness industry. Through our conversation, we learned his wife and I graduated with our master’s from the same institution. After we were done, Marla wanted to speak with me. We had the same professors and talked about them. She walked down memory lane with me when her children were little, while she was working on her degree and writing her fitness education book that would set her up for international travels in teaching fitness from an academic standpoint. She owned her own personal training company and trained primarily women, my passion exactly. We laughed and she was so inspiring to me. I mean, to write a book with small kids, travel internationally and start your own business while raising two kids, it was amazing to me (and all before social media existed, she did it all on her own). We exchanged email addresses and exchanged a few brief emails. It was a fun hour for me when we spoke. She was engaging, outgoing and high energy. Shortly after we spoke, we were to meet up for lunch, however, her son was diagnosed with cancer and she needed to be there for him. I told her it was where she needed to be and offered any help I could give and ended it “take care of yourself too.” As a mom, I often find we take ourselves and our health for granted, so it served as a reminder that we too need to be cared for. It was the last time I heard from her. I later learned she was not feeling quite well and her son’s doctor decided to check her out as well. They discovered Stage IV Lung Cancer. From someone who never smoked and exercised until the day she passed, with oxygen tanks attached and all, it was a quick 9-weeks for her. I am saddened we never had the opportunity to meet. I know she would have been on my Personal Board of Directors. Her husband stated to me that it would have been a memorable lunch. I can only imagine since our conversation was memorable! When invited to be a part of this committee in creating an award to honor a woman who was a true pioneer in medical based fitness, women’s health, and I am saying this, an original mompreneur, When...

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My Dailey Method Bucktown Wrap-Up

Posted by on Aug 14, 2012 in Fitness | 0 comments

I finally wrapped up my free month to the Dailey Method Bucktown last week. They kindly gave me an extension for 10 days in August since I was out for a good two weeks for vacation and my daughter’s Summer Olympic’s Birthday Party. Overall, I like it, or should say, addicted to loving it! There are pros and cons in which I am going to discuss. But what were my results? I didn’t lose a pound, but I measured myself on July 1 and again on August 8. I lost a half inch in my chest and hips and one inch in my waist. So all of you ladies who focus on that scale, you need to look at those inches. Yes, my clothes are fitting better and people have asked me what have I been doing. Just a combo of healthy eating and Dailey Method workouts. 1. What I did learn is that I have become a stronger runner. I can run the hills in the Indiana Dunes with ease (ok most hills, some are just way too steep still), but wow, I felt so awesome to run the hills I had to stop halfway and walk. 2. My low back pain is gone and my IT Bands feel better. (and don’t have to stretch in between vacuuming) 3. I can squat down and pick up my son with ease (thanks to all those crazy high heeled and deep V squatting, read Oh My Thigh’s and Tri’s). 4. My husband says my legs are looking stronger again. (Thanks honey, now I walk around thinking I have Olympic legs like Gabby Douglas). 5. My posture has improved again. I prided myself in having a good upright posture (pre-breastfeeding era). 6. It has given me the confidence to teach group fitness classes again and recently had to “audition” to teach classes at a local health club (last time I “auditioned” was 1999..). I really do love and miss teaching. I even got a few new moves and yes the idea of becoming a Dailey Method Instructor has crossed my mind. I have also under-estimated the understanding of mind/body exercise until recently. After going experiencing some emotional stress, I went to a class last Monday, sweating and shaking beyond belief. Not only has my capacity to fully understand each move and deepening my practice, but when you are experiencing some sort of emotional stress, it does weaken your practice as well. I struggled with many of the moves last week due to some of the emotional stress I was dealing with and internalizing (yes, I know not healthy). I had to scale it down a bit, but I walked away more sore than I had in the first week of doing the workouts. About the instructors: Tami: There is a love/hate relationship, she is funny, witty and doesn’t like when you make faces. Overall, her morning classes are full. It will be a while before I can take a Tues morning class. It gets out too late for me to get my daughter to school on time. Jenny: She’s tough and means business. She is easing into her morning straight arm planks (thank you) but she is conscious of helping others understanding each move by correcting your form. She has corrected my hips plenty of times and my IT bands are thanking her. Ashlee: Super cute and bubbly, she has a nonchalant attitude while teaching. She likes doing a lot of legs, at least in my experience and I like doing legs…a lot. Natalia: I took her Principles class once and...

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Dailey Method Week 2: Oh My Thigh’s and Tri’s!

Posted by on Jul 17, 2012 in Fitness | 0 comments

I completed week two of the Dailey Method workout. I went six out of the seven days last week and let’s just say my thighs and tri’s have been talking to me all week, but let me just break it down for you. I unexpectedly had the chance to go on Sunday and it was a male instructor. It is always refreshing to have a male teach a class. I have also learned early in my own group fitness teaching career, women tend to like the male instructors more. He was soft-spoken, refreshing and not harsh by any means. He had a great way of explaining the movements and since the class was a smaller size, he got to go around more to work on form with everyone. For me, this is an important quality in an instructor, to not workout to teach, but to teach to workout. (That came from an old Australian professor I had as an undergrad). We did a lot of outer thigh work and I like that, a lot. It’s Monday morning, 5:30am, first class of the day. I wake up early so I can walk quietly down the stairs so the kids can sleep. (Moms you know how it is). I walk in ready to go, we begin our warm-up, then BAM, right into straight arm planks. I am thinking to myself, but it is only 5:35am…really? This instructor means business. And this is how I feel: But something happened during one of the moves while in C-curve. I strained my neck so much that I could not move or raise my arms all the way up for the rest of the day. I was baffled to what I did to do that. I get my answer the next day in Tami’s class, which rocked. She was really stroking my ego, but I loved all the bar exercises that day. What I learned is the instructor from Monday’s cuing was off because while in the same position, Tami said the cue that I missed and that was to simply keep my sliding my shoulder blades into the floor. The strain went away for a bit, but was still there. Ugh and I had to take another class that night with the founder of W8Fit (I’ll save that for another post). Knowing I had this Tues evening class to take, I was happy to sleep in on Wednesday. I went and saw my chiropractor on Wednesday. She did one simple test and found I locked my clavicle. She said what I did was I failed to exhale at the exertion, it locked my clavicle causing the diaphragm to be restrained. Ah I think to myself. You see as she explained, the clavicle slides back and forth when we move, when you are holding your breath during the contraction and not in the correct position (as I was in the c-curve) it will shift and it caused me not to be able to move my arms or my body completely. An adjustment here, pressure there I walk out feeling like my old self. Gosh, I love my chiropractor (been seeing her since 2004). She also tells me that my hip flexibility has gotten way better and that is because my low back is feeling fantastic. All of the stretching I am missing is making feel just great and my posture is back to being upright most of the time. In fact, one of my chiropractor’s patients walks in and said, “Wow, you have nice posture.” I am back Thursday morning and let me just tell...

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I’m trying out the Dailey Method for 30-days.

Posted by on Jul 7, 2012 in Fitness | 0 comments

After being contacted by 2 Moms Media to give Dailey Method a 30-day try, I was secretly happy for a couple of reasons: 1. I canceled my membership at Fitness Formula Clubs for a few reasons and it ended on June 30 2. I have been wanting to give this workout a try, but have not been sold on the fact that it can transform your body. Though a neighborhood friend and mom of two, claims it reshaped hers. 3. I need to do something else in my workouts. I love intense workouts that make me sweat and hate the exercises so much that I go back for more. This seems like the ideal way of getting some intensity and deep, inner strengthening. 4. I have neglected my core and have babied it for too long. Ok, I haven’t completely forgotten to work my core, I love doing my abs on the ball and BOSU, but I have not done any style of Pilates since before I became pregnant with my daughter, back in 2006…mostly because, well I know how strong I was back then (I taught some kick a$$ abs classes back in my day) but, I didn’t want someone else to teach me to be blunt honest. The Dailey Method as I best understand it is a fusion of pilates, yoga and ballet. Here is a quick video that explains it more thoroughly: The Dailey Method Many know me for my nutrition detective skills, but I am a group fitness instructor and personal trainer with an undergrad degree in Exercise Science. This is how I started out on my weight loss journey back in college. So this form of exercise intrigues me to evaluate it from a personal and physiological perspective. I started on Monday, July 2, um yeah, I was in for a rude awakening…I gave myself some slack not knowing what to expect I tried hard to keep up with the class (yes, even I teach my participants that it is ok to not keep up…I have an internal competitive side). The instructor was peppy and sweet. We had a nice conversation after the class about my “core” and I already felt it. I went again the next day and despite my husband and I being kid-free on Monday night and having some spirits when going out to dinner…I was a little groggy going in, but came out feeling taller. Tami, the owner and mother of two was teaching the class. Super strong, sleek, she taught some ballet bar moves that helps tone the sides of your bottom and I liked the challenge. It brought me back to my dancing days. I was not able to last as long as I did the day before, I knew my limits and still had a nice workout. I am bummed that I missed the rest of the week as we were going out of town, but plan on going almost every day until July 24th when we leave to go out of town again. I’ll get a total of three weeks, so we’ll see what happens in those days. Until...

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I am doing The Gunnar Challenge for 8-weeks

Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Fitness, Gunnar Challenge, Weight Loss | 0 comments

I filled out a survey to do The Gunnar Challenge and was selected to give it a try for 8-weeks. Now typically I hate following “programs” because I do not believe one size is a fit all. I did the Jillian Michael’s program though a Klout Perk I had earned and I thought the workouts were fantastic, but the nutrition part is not for me. And I did not finish following through each and every workout. (lack of sleep from my son, dealing with life sometimes gets in the way of my fitness, I am just like you!) Since I follow a complicated diet (gluten, soy, dairy, corn free including no oats, buckwheat or red meats), The Gunnar Challenge will be the same way. I will have to modify the diet to my needs. So this time, I am having you hold me accountable as a way to review this program in great detail. I will analyze it from a both fitness and nutrition perspective. It is nice to have a program to use when you do not have access to a gym, cannot afford a trainer and be a part of an interactive community through Facebook and Twitter. Registration was easy. Asked for my goals, current weight/height, measurements which were optional. I opted in to enter my weight weekly and checked off that I will work out at least 4 days per week. My real goal is 5 days per week (and looking ahead, it has me scheduled for 6?…we’ll see), but one of those days will be used to run to prepare for the Dirty Girl Mud Run I am doing on June 30. So that is it. Each Monday I will post for you my experience with using the Feel Great in 8 Gunnar Challenge and I will do some before and after pics…yikes I have never done that before. However, you can join me today! Anyone who signs up today will get $30 off their registration, that is pretty cool! Click here to register. No worries, you did not miss anything for a workout, today is a rest...

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