March, 2012 | The Cycle Project

Archive for March, 2012

Mar
29
2012
0

Creamy Egg Salad

Most recipes for egg salad call for fat-filled mayonnaise, but this recipe uses fat free Greek yogurt instead. You get all the creaminess without added calories to set back your results.
Servings: 3

Here’s what you need…

  • 8 organic, free range eggs
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons onion greens, chopped
  • 1/4 cup non fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons champagne mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon
  • dash of salt and pepper
  1. To boil the perfect egg: place eggs in a large pot and cover with cold water by half an inch. Heat the water to a boil, turn off the heat and cover the pot. Wait exactly 7 minutes, and then place the eggs in a bowl of ice water for 3 minutes.
  2. Peel and chop hard boiled eggs, discarding 4 yolks. Place in a large bowl. Add celery, onion greens, yogurt, mustard, lemon, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  3. Chill and then serve.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 148 calories, 7 fat, 212mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, and 16g protein.

Mar
28
2012
0

9 Disturbing Side Effects of Soda

By: Emily Main

If you’ve been reading health magazines and websites for any length of time, you’ve read a litany of reasons why soda is bad for you. It’s nothing but sugar water. It’s devoid of any nutritional value. It leads to obesity and diabetes. But we’ve dug up nine other disturbing facts about what soda does to your body, besides packing on the pounds, that don’t get much attention in broader discussions about soda and its impact on your health.

1. Weird Fat in Weird Places

In the latest bad news for the soda industry, Danish researchers discovered that drinking non-diet soda leads to dramatic increases in fat buildup around your liver and your skeletal muscles, both of which can contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes. The study revealed that people who drank a regular soda every day for six months saw a 132 to 142 percent increase in liver fat, a 117 to 221 percent jump in skeletal fat, and about a 30 percent increase in both triglyceride blood fats and other organ fat. Their consumption also led to an 11 percent increase in cholesterol, compared with the people who drank other beverages such as water or milk.

2. Diet-Soda Belly

It’s not surprising that drinking all the sugar in sodas would cause weight gain, but what is surprising is that even diet soda will pack on the pounds: Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center monitored 475 adults for 10 years, and found that those who drank diet soda had a 70 percent increase in waist circumference over the 10-year study, compared with those who didn’t drink any soda. Those who drank more than two diet sodas per day saw a 500 percent waist expansion! A separate study the same researchers conducted on mice suggested that it was the aspartame, which raised blood glucose levels, that caused the weight gain; when your liver encounters too much glucose, the excess is converted to body fat.

3. Caramel Cancer-Causers

In 2011, the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to ban the artificial caramel coloring used to make Coke, Pepsi, and other colas brown. The reason: Two contaminants in the coloring, 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole, have been found to cause cancer in animals, a threat the group says is unnecessary, considering that the coloring is purely cosmetic. According to California’s strict Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer, just 16 micrograms per person per day of 4-methylimidazole is enough to pose a cancer threat, and most popular brown colas, both diet and regular, contain 200 micrograms per 20-ounce bottle.

4. Accelerated Aging

Diet or regular, all colas contain phosphates, or phosphoric acid, a weak acid that gives colas their tangy flavor and improves their shelf life. Although it exists in many whole foods, such as meat, dairy, and nuts, too much phosphoric acid can lead to heart and kidney problems, muscle loss, and osteoporosis, and one study suggests it could trigger accelerated aging. The study, published in a 2010 issue of the FASEB Journal, found that the excessive phosphate levels found in sodas caused lab rats to die a full five weeks earlier than the rats whose diets had more normal phosphate levels—a disturbing trend considering that soda manufacturers have been increasing the levels of phosphoric acid in their products over the past few decades.

5. Water Pollution

The artificial sweeteners used in diet sodas don’t break down in our bodies, nor do wastewater-treatment plants catch them before they enter waterways, researchers have found. In 2009, Swiss scientists tested water samples from wastewater-treatment plants, rivers and lakes in Switzerland and detected levels of acesulfame K, sucralose, and saccharin, all of which are, or have been, used in diet sodas. A recent test of 19 municipal water supplies in the U.S. revealed the presence of sucralose in every one. It’s not clear yet what these low levels are doing to people, but past research has found that sucralose in rivers and lakes interferes with some organisms’ feeding habits.

6. Mountain Dew Mind

Dentists have a name for the condition they see in kids who drink too much Mountain Dew. They wind up with a “Mountain Dew Mouth,” full of cavities caused by the drink’s excessive sugar levels. “Mountain Dew Mind” may be the next medical condition that gets named after the stuff. An ingredient called brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, added to prevent the flavoring from separating from the drink, is an industrial chemical used as a flame retardant in plastics. Also found in other citrus-based soft drinks and sports drinks, the chemical has been known to cause memory loss and nerve disorders when consumed in large quantities. Researchers also suspect that, like brominated flame retardants used in furniture foam, the chemical builds up in body fat, possibly causing behavioral problems, infertility, and lesions on heart muscles over time.

7. Whacked-Out Hormones

It’s not just the soda that’s causing all the problems. Nearly all aluminum soda cans are lined with an epoxy resin called bisphenol A (BPA), used to keep the acids in soda from reacting with the metal. BPA is known to interfere with hormones, and has been linked to everything from infertility to obesity and diabetes and some forms of reproductive cancers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have pegged soda cans, along with restaurant, school, and fast-food meals, as a major source of exposure to the chemical. And while Pepsi and Coke are currently locked in a battle to see which company can be the first to develop a 100 percent plant-based-plastic bottle—which they’re touting as “BPA free”—neither company is willing to switch to BPA-free aluminum cans.

8. Dead Birds

Before you switch from cans to bottles, though, take a look at the photographs of Chris Jordan, an environmentalist and photographer who visited the Midway Atoll area in 2009. It’s close to the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” a mass of plastic debris in the Pacific Ocean where things like soda caps (which often aren’t recycled) and plastic fish netting float just beneath the surface of the water. Birds, sea turtles, and other wildlife mistake the debris for food and eat large quantities of the plastic, which they are unable to digest. Ultimately, the plastic causes them to starve to death. It’s estimated that thousands of animals die this way every year.

9. Unknown Side Effects of GMOs

Take a look at the ingredients list for any soda and chances are most of those ingredients are derived from corn. As much as 88 percent of the corn grown in the U.S. is genetically modified to resist toxic pesticides or engineered to create pesticides within the plant itself. Thanks to lax government safety regulations, and tight corporate control over who gets to test these proprietary seeds, there are no human studies that can prove or disprove whether these crops are safe. Independent scientists have found that, in animals, genetically modified crops, or GMOs, are linked to digestive tract damage, accelerated aging, and even infertility. By drinking soda, you’re taking part in the biggest science experiment on the planet.

 

Mar
27
2012
0

Easy Menu Guide

 

Mar
26
2012
0

Is Your Slow Metabolism To Blame For Weight Gain?

You’re working out and eating well, but just can’t seem to lose weight. Could a slow metabolism be keeping you from your weight-loss goals? It just might.

What is your metabolism and what relationship does it have to weight gain? Can you speed up your metabolism to help your body burn more calories? Hang on tight, ‘cause you’re heading for a crash course in metabolism!

What is Metabolism?
The calories in your food or beverages combine with oxygen and create the energy necessary for your body to function. Metabolism is the complex, biochemical process in which your body takes what you eat and drink and converts it into energy. Your metabolism is constantly at work, even during rest and sleep when your body needs energy to breath, circulate blood, adjust hormones, repair cells, and grow new cells.

Your basal metabolic rate is the amount of calories it takes for your body to perform its basic functions. It affects how much energy your body needs to do its job and helps determine the number of calories you’ll burn each day. Many factors play a role in your basal metabolic rate.

The first is your body composition and size. Larger people and those with more muscle mass burn more calories even while resting. This means overweight people usually have a faster metabolic rate than their thinner peers.

The second factor affecting your metabolic rate is your sex. Men generally have more muscle and less fat and therefore burn more calories, giving them the advantage when it comes to metabolic rate.

Third, your metabolic rate changes with age. The older you are, the less muscle you’re likely to have. As a result, you burn calories slower.

Besides your basal metabolic rate, the amount of physical activity you get and the way your body digests and processes food determines how many calories you burn. While many factors go into your metabolism, the most variable is physical activity. However, exercise also makes the most difference in the number of calories you burn, so amp up your exercise and watch your metabolism rise as well.

Slow Metabolism = Weight Gain?
Contrary to popular belief, a slow metabolism rarely causes excess weight gain. While it would be easy to blame your weight on a slow metabolism, the most likely culprit behind those extra pounds is the amount of calories you consume versus the amount of calories you expend in physical activity. When you eat more calories than you expend, your body stores that away as fat.

Your metabolism is a natural process, and your body balances your metabolism to meet your individual energy needs. This is made clear when folks jump into a starvation diet. When you don’t eat, your body slows down the metabolizing processes to conserve calories and energy to survive.

You don’t have much control over your metabolism, but you can control the number of calories you burn during exercise. The more activity you perform, the more calories you burn.

You may think a thin person has a faster metabolism, but they’re usually just more active.

Having a slow metabolism is rare, and it usually doesn’t cause obesity. Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism and Cushing’s syndrome may slow metabolism and lead to weight gain. But for the most part, the factors that contribute to weight gain include consuming too many calories, genetics, family history, unhealthy habits such as too little sleep or not eating breakfast, and certain medications.

If you want to kick-start your metabolism with challenging progressive workouts then call or email me today to get started.

Mar
21
2012
0

Breakfast Bird Nests

You know that curbing your carbs will help you lose weight and tone up, so try this low carb breakfast. It’s a great way to eat some veggies with breakfast.
Servings: 4

Here’s what you need…

  • 4 large, round tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 slices organic, nitrate-free turkey bacon, chopped
  • dash of dried oregano, plus more for garnish
  • optional dash of salt (added salt is not in nutritional analysis)
  • dash of pepper
  • 4 organic, omega-3, free range eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Wash tomatoes, slice off the tops and scoop out the insides. Place tomatoes on a pan, and bake for 5 minutes.
  3. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add garlic. Add onion. Add chopped bacon. Saute for 5 minutes, until mostly cooked. Add the spices and mix well.
  4. Turn oven to broil.
  5. Fill each tomato with the bacon mixture, leaving about 1/2 inch of space at the top of each tomato. Crack an egg into each tomato then sprinkle with oregano. Place in the oven under broiler for 5 minutes. Remove from oven once the top has set, and you’ll have perfectly done over easy eggs.
  6. For well done eggs: change oven temperature back to 400 degrees F, and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 98 calories, 5g fat, 162mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate, .6g fiber, and 9g protein.

Mar
17
2012
0

No More Excuses

Your excuses for being out-of-shape are getting old. An excuse takes less immediate effort than an action, but in the long run the action taker always has the advantage.
  • Don’t skip out on your responsibilities with excuses, instead expect more from yourself.
  • Focus on the big reason why you are losing the weight. Make a list of the benefits you’ll enjoy once you achieve your goal, and read them first thing each morning.
  • Remember that you can only have two things in life: excuses or results. Which do you want?

Don’t allow excuses to ruin your life any longer.

Mar
15
2012
0

The 6 Best Exercises For Your Buns

Here’s the article that you’ve been waiting for – everything you need to know to shape up your booty for swimsuit season.
Don’t allow past failures get you down. It can be frustrating waiting for results, but by a combination of cardio exercises, a healthy diet, and the right resistance workouts targeted for the butt and thighs, you will reach your goal.

Here are the essential exercises that target your gluteal muscles to give it the shape and tone you desire.

Exercise 1: Hip Lift
A great exercise to work your glute muscles is the hip lift. To do this exercise, lie on the floor with your back flat, knees bent, and feet resting on the ground. While keeping your arms at your sides on the floor, lift your bottom and lower back off of the floor. Hold for a few seconds, and then slowly lower yourself. Repeat. To work your muscles even more, lift a leg in the air when you raise your bottom off the ground. Lower yourself and then repeat, lifting the other leg.

Exercise 2: Leg Lift
To do a leg lift, lie on your side and prop yourself up on your elbow. Raise your top leg slowly into the air, as high as you can, so your legs make a “V” shape. Hold for a few seconds, and then slowly lower your leg. Repeat 10 times, turn onto the other side, and lift the other leg.

Exercise 3: Banded Shuffle
This is a great exercise to get your heart pumping and work your butt. To do this exercise, you’ll need an elastic sports band. Stand up straight with your legs hip-width apart and tie the band around your lower legs. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, your back is straight, and your abdominals are tight. While in this squatting position, take several steps to the left, then several to the right. You may need to use your arms for balance, but your butt muscles should feel a workout.

Exercise 4: Plie Squat
Another form of squat is the plie squat. If you don’t have an elastic band, this is the exercise to add definition and shape to your butt. Start by standing with your legs slightly more than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed out to the sides. This is what ballerinas call the plie position. For balance, hold your arms in front of you. While keeping your back straight, slowly squat to the ground until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold this for five seconds and stand back up. Repeat 10 times.

Exercise 5: Lunge
A fifth exercise that targets the muscles of your butt, thighs, and hips is the lunge. Putting one foot out in front of the other, lower your body toward the ground, keeping your abdominals tight and your torso straight. Lower until the front knee is bent at 90 degrees and not extended past your toes. Stand back up and then extend the opposite leg and bend. Perform 10 repetitions. For an increased workout, hold dumbbells in each hand.

Exercise 6: Run or Walk
Running or walking outside or on the treadmill are other great exercises that work your butt while giving you a cardio workout to burn fat at the same time. Make it your goal to exercise 30 to 45 minutes at least three times a week, including walking or running each time.

Burn, Baby, Burn! These exercises are excellent ways to burn extra fat off your butt while adding the definition you desire. Not used to working your gluteal muscles? You’ll definitely feel the burn the first few days, but the end result will be worth the effort!

If you’re serious about transforming your body then call or email today to set up a consultation with me. Together we will create the perfect program that will quickly get you into the body that you deserve.

Mar
10
2012
0

Creamy Low Fat Tuna Salad

Most recipes for tuna salad call for fat-filled mayonnaise, but this recipe uses fat free Greek yogurt instead. You get all the creaminess without added calories to set back your results.
Servings: 5

Here’s what you need…

  • 2 (5oz) cans wild albacore tuna, packed in water
  • 1 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons champagne mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed, plus more for garnish
  • dash of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 green apple, shredded
  • 2 cups green cabbage, shredded
  • 4 cups organic mixed greens
  1. Drain the tuna and flake in a medium bowl. Add the yogurt, mustard, dill and pepper. Mix until creamy and well combined.
  2. Add the shredded apple and cabbage. Mix well.
  3. Arrange mixed greens on plates, then use an ice cream scooper to place the tuna mixture. Sprinkle with dill weed.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 140 calories, 1 fat, 210mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 20g protein.

Mar
06
2012
0

Give It Time

Whatever the cause of your weight gain after exercising, don’t give up! Not only is exercise the key to shedding pounds, but it is also vital for overall health and well-being. Give your body time to respond to a new routine. It can take several weeks for your body to “recalibrate” itself to increased activity and changes in eating habits. But once it does, you’ll begin seeing the weight-loss results you seek!

Mar
01
2012
0

Understanding Exercise-Induced Weight Gain

It is common knowledge that exercise burns calories and helps you to shed extra pounds.
Armed with this knowledge, many people think that losing weight should be easy with enough exercise. You may take this as bad news, but the truth is that for those who aren’t used to exercising and are out of shape, beginning an exercise program may actually lead to weight gain.

This fact, however, shouldn’t stop you from exercising, as you’ll eventually turn the weight corner and start losing.

What is it about exercise that may cause some people to gain instead of lose weight?

Muscle Mass: One of the main reasons exercising can lead to weight gain is that it promotes the growth of muscle mass.

If you are not used to working out and haven’t used certain muscles regularly, after exercising your muscles will be sore and will increase in size. While you may burn off fat, muscle is denser than fat. Therefore, the weight you gain is in your muscles.

And take heart. Since muscles take up less space than fat, your extra weight doesn’t necessarily translate to larger size. In fact, once you start working out, you’ll probably become thinner, even if you maintain your previous weight. Instead of using a scale to determine if you are slimming down, have your body fat tested regularly or measure your body at certain areas.

If you see that you’re losing inches, then you know you’re on the right track.

Cardiovascular activities like walking, running, or swimming will encourage the growth of lean, toned muscles. Other activities such as weight lifting promote the growth of larger, stronger muscles that contribute to weight gain.

But there is good news in this. If you stick with the exercise program, your muscles will soon stabilize in size and after a time, become toned. After your muscles are strong and able to handle more strenuous workouts, you will be able to burn calories faster.

While it may be frustrating and disappointing to see the scale go up after starting an exercise routine, it shouldn’t stop you from exercising. You may just be building muscle faster than losing body fat. This can be especially true if you’re genetically prone to building muscle fast. The key is to incorporate plenty of cardio exercise in addition to strength training. That way you will burn plenty of calories during your routine and be more able to shed pounds.

Eating Habits: When you work out and burn calories, your body will feel the need to replace those burned calories.

This may make you feel hungrier than usual, which can cause you to eat more than normal – sometimes without knowing it. A good idea is to keep a food journal to track of the actual number of calories you are consuming.

You may also end up eating more calories and justifying their consumption since you’re exercising. After a good workout, you may see an ice cream sundae as a reward for the calories you burned. Just be careful. If you’re interested in losing weight, you can’t simply break even with your caloric intake and the amount of calories you burn.

At the same time, eating too few calories can be counterproductive and slow your weight loss. Without enough calories, your body may slow its metabolism. So eat plenty to keep your body well fueled, but choose healthy calories that will help your body recover after a workout and grow stronger.

Hydration: Depending on the time of day you weigh yourself, the scale may read differently. Your weight can fluctuate as much as five pounds depending on the amount of water or food you have recently consumed or the amount of water you have shed in sweat. It is therefore important to weigh yourself at the same time each day.

My exercise programs are specifically designed to produce results quickly.

Call or email today to test drive a program that will get the numbers on your scale headed in the right direction.