April, 2012 | The Cycle Project

Archive for April, 2012

Apr
30
2012
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8 Lies Fitness Magazines Tell You

A popular magazine recently boasted the headline of “8 Lies Trainers Tell You.”

This quickly peaked my interest.

Lies! Me? No way.

I read the article and was not impressed. The “lies” were nothing but a bunch of fitness myths, nothing worth repeating and definitely nothing that I’ve told my clients.

Then I got to thinking about all the lies that fitness magazines try to get us to believe, and realized that this was the real story to tell.

So here you have it – 8 Lies Fitness Magazines Tell You:

Lie #1: You need fancy diet foods to lose weight. 

Designer, brand name protein powders, bars and diet foods grace the glossy pages – looking gourmet and mouthwatering. And very expensive. The bold claims on these “foods” make them quite tempting, but keep your wallet in your pocket. Healthy weight loss is best gotten by eating a diet of wholesome, real foods.

  • Eat real food, not expensive diet foods.

Lie #2: Transformations are simple. Eat less and move more. 

So many of the one-page success stories water-down the truth about what it takes to transform from ‘before’ to ‘after’. In order to showcase their reader’s successes, one hundred pound melt-downs are condensed to a few paragraphs which undoubtedly say “Suzy ate small meals and exercised 60 minutes 3 to 4 times per week.” I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but massive transformations take much more effort and laser-like focus than that.

  • Don’t believe that massive body transformations are easy, expect to put in hard work and dedication.

Lie #3: You need the latest fitness fashions in order to see results. 

The latest fashions look great on those fitness models. Who knew that spandex could come in so many flashy colors and styles? And all the benefits of that hundred dollar tank top seem totally worth it, right? Actually your old t-shirt works just as well as the fancy stuff.

  • You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on fitness fashion, the pounds will melt off just as quickly in a faded t-shirt.

Lie #4: You can still eat junk food and look like a cover model.

By now I’m sure you’re seeing the trend of less-than-healthy advertisements peppered throughout your favorite fitness magazine. A common theme is to offer “healthy” versions of your favorite junk foods. While these lighter versions may very well be healthier than the originals, its still packaged junk that will slow your results.

  • “Healthy” junk food is still junk, so choose wholesome, real foods instead.

Lie #5: You can get flat abs in just a couple of weeks. 

Catchy headlines sell magazines. Flat Abs in 3 Weeks! Get a Killer Core by Summer! Rock Hard Abs Fast! The truth is that real results take time. You didn’t pack on all those unwanted pounds in 3 weeks, so don’t expect to lose it in 3 weeks.

  • Don’t believe headline-hype, real results take real time.

Lie #6: Pills will get you the results you want. 

Fat burning pills. Cleanse pills. Vitamin pills. Super Food pills. You name the pill and it’s probably on display in a pretty ad depicting fitness models with perfect physiques. Be wary of any bottle of pills with extraordinary claims.

  • Results do not come in pill form, but by hard workouts and solid nutrition.

Lie #7: Don’t eat carbs, unless it’s carbs from our advertisers.

On one page you’ll read about the horrors of carbohydrates and how cutting back will get you to effortlessly drop pounds. On the next you’ll see a super lean fitness model holding up a piece of whole wheat bread with a sassy smile. She eats this brand of bread, so you should too if you want to look like her. Which page do you believe?

  • Carbohydrate intake must be controlled, regardless of its brand.

Lie #8: You don’t need a trainer to achieve maximum results. 

A recurring theme in fitness magazines is the idea that you can do your body transformation on your own – no personal trainer needed. It’s a great theme for the magazine since it means you’ll keep buying the latest issue for your fitness advice. The truth is that people serious about achieve amazing transformations always seek out professional coaching to ensure their success.

  • Real results are achieved with the guidance of a professional trainer.

If you have a goal you’ve yet to achieve then reach out to me.

 

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Apr
30
2012
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Only 31% of California Students Pass P.E. Test

Fewer than one-third of California students who took a statewide physical fitness test this year managed to pass all six areas assessed, new results show.

State Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, a longtime cross-country coach who has made physical fitness a signature issue, announced the results this week as he launched a program to improve children’s health. The campaign will use such celebrity athletes as NBA all-star Bill Walton and others to visit schools to urge students to drink more water, eat more fruits and vegetables and increase their exercise.

“When only 31% of children are physically fit, that’s a public health challenge we can’t wait to address,” Torlakson said in a statement.

The results for the 1.34 million students tested in fifth, seventh and ninth grades showed a decline in all three grades over last year. Scores had been steadily improving since 2006. To pass the test, or score what state officials call a “healthy fitness zone,” a ninth-grade male, 5 feet 6 and 150 pounds, would need to run a mile in nine minutes, perform at least 16 push-ups and do at least 24 curl-ups. Body fat is also measured, along with flexibility.

About 25% of fifth-graders passed all six sections; 32% of seventh-graders and 36.8% of ninth-graders did so.

Linda Hooper, a state education department consultant, said scores dipped this year in large part because two of the sections — those measuring aerobic capacity and body fat — used more accurate measurements. But she said another factor was budget cuts that have pared back physical education and sports programs across the state.

Hooper said she was particularly concerned about “a pretty major dip” in the fitness levels of elementary students, which she attributed in part to the cutback in physical education teachers on campus.

“With the budget crisis, P.E. and athletics have become less important,” she said.

Los Angeles Unified students scored slightly worse than the statewide average. Chad Fenwick, a district physical education advisor, said California’s largest school system had long lagged behind the state, in part because many students are low income, a socioeconomic factor correlated with lower fitness levels. Yet scores have steadily improved in the last seven years — 49.2% of ninth-graders passed five of six sections this year, the state target, compared to 26% in 2004, he said.

This year, scores dropped largely because of the section changes, he said.

Among other initiatives to improve children’s health, Fenwick said, the district has received a state grant for the last four years to send a credentialed physical education teacher to about 60 elementary schools to work with students and train classroom teachers. Although the state now allows districts to use that money to meet other needs, L.A. Unified has kept its physical education program, he said.

This year, the district also revamped its cafeteria menu, replacing such items as chocolate milk and French fries for more healthful fare.

But Fenwick said budget cuts in the last two years have hurt high school physical education programs, boosting class sizes to as high as 80. “Class sizes are up pretty dramatically, and it’s another thing that worries us,” he said.

Those concerns are shared statewide. A survey released last month by the California State PTA found that 75% of the 1,600 members polled said their school’s physical education and sports programs had been eliminated or reduced. Restoring such programs was the top health concern cited.

Torlakson’s new campaign, Team California for Healthy Kids, will encourage schools to apply for grants for salad bars, form partnerships with farmers markets, integrate physical activity into instruction and other activities.

The 2011 Physical Fitness Test results are available on the California Department of Education website under Physical Fitness Testing. Information on the Team California for Healthy Kids initiative is available under Team California for Healthy Kids — Initiatives & Programs.

 

Source: LA Times

Apr
25
2012
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Tropical Chicken Salad

 

This salad is the perfect pre or post workout meal. It has plenty of protein and fiber, vitamins, minerals and lots of delicious flavor.
Servings: 8

Here’s what you need…

  • 1 head cabbage, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 mango, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pineapple, chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1/3 cup green onions, chopped
  • 4 skinless chicken breast, baked and chopped
  • 1/4 cup low calorie mango dressing
  1. Mix all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 200 calories, 3 fat, 144mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, and 30g protein.

Apr
23
2012
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Fueling Your Muscles Before and After Exercise

What you eat before and after exercise has a huge impact on your results.

Think about that.

You could be doing intense workouts, pushing yourself hard in the gym, but then eating all the wrong foods that keep your body looking the same.

I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to put in all that effort in the gym, I certainly don’t want my results hijacked by poor nutrition.

Transforming your body comes down to two simple parts: 1) consistent, challenging exercise and 2) balanced, proper nutrition.

When you skip on the balanced, proper nutrition, you cheat yourself out of the sculpted physique that you should have.

The food you eat prior to and following exercise plays a key role in the overall success of your workout. What you eat and when you eat can either help you burn more calories and build more muscle or it can hinder your weight-loss and muscle-mass goals.

Here’s how it works. Your body gets energy from the carbohydrates you eat. Carbohydrates are converted to glucose, and unused glucose is then converted to glycogen, which is stored in your liver and muscles.

During intense exercise, your body uses up this stored energy. Not having a store of energy, your body can’t function at its potential.

Healthy pre- and post-workout foods provide your body with the glycogen needed to fuel your muscles during aerobic and anaerobic exercise.

Pre-Workout Fuel. Many people find that exercising first thing in the morning works best for their schedule. For some, this means heading to the gym on an empty stomach. Unfortunately, when you exercise with your body’s “gas tank” on empty, your body will start to take the amino acids from your muscles and convert them to the glucose you need for energy.

Therefore, instead of burning fat, you may actually break down your muscle!

This is the opposite of what you want to do.

In order to burn fat, you need to fuel up with 150-250 calories of nutritious fuel 30 min to an hour and a half before working out. This gives your body enough time to digest the food and make the energy available for exercising.

You want your pre-workout meal to consist of both simple and complex carbs (the simple break down and burn down qucikly and the complex will take over afterwards as they break down slower) and some protein.  Good examples of healthy pre-workout meals or snacks to give your body the energy it needs to exercise include high-fiber cereal with skim milk, a two- to three-ounce turkey breast sandwich,  poached egg with whole-wheat toast and grapefruit, or a lean turkey burger.  My favorites for longer workouts include peanut butter and banana sandwich (add honey for a long ride ro run), oats with protein powder and raisins.

Don’t have time to eat a meal before exercising? No excuse, You still need to eat something. A quick way to give your body immediate energy is to eat an energy bar like a clif bar.  They are designed to be easy on the stomach and to be used for workouts!  You can also in a pinch use a simple carbohydrate such as fruit or juice in a protein drink or shake 15 to 30 minutes prior to working out. And AVOID heavy meals before exercising, as these large meals may slow you down and make you feel sluggish during your routine.

The combination of food to eat before a workout should contain complex and simple carbohydrates, fiber, and low-fat protein to give you energy, keep you feeling full, and help regulate a normal blood sugar level. Try to make sure each pre-workout meal or snack contains this combination of nutrients. Not having the right amount of carbs for energy will hinder your ability to burn calories, build muscle, and exercise to your full potential.

Replenish Post-workout. The goal of post-workout nutrition is to help muscles rebuild and strengthen following the stress and loss of glycogen they experience during exercise. To replenish energy stores, your muscles need protein and carbohydrates within half an hour to 45 Min following exercise.

After a workout what you put into your body is as important as the workout itself.  You want to stop the catabolic effect of your muscles searching for fuel and perhaps tearing your own muscles down for that fuel.  So as soon as you can eat a meal that has simple carbs and protein.  I know simple carbs are usually thought of as horrible, but immediately following exercise, they are great for quick fule for your muscles.  A good ratio is 4 gram carbs:1 gram protein.

Examples of a post-workout snacks and meals include a four- to six-ounce turkey breast and brown rice, a pasta salad with grilled chicken, or a smoothie with fresh fruit and low-fat yogurt.  Liquid replacements are always good to have after a workout.  Since they are not a solid that takes a while to break down in your stomach, they will be absornbed quicker, stopping the catabolism of your muscles sooner and helping repair your muscles!

 

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Apr
20
2012
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Turkey & Veggie Soup

 

This soup has everything going for it. The base is broth, not cream. It doesn’t have any added carbohydrates in the form of rice or noodles. And it’s filled with lean ground turkey.
Servings: 12

Here’s what you need…

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch of carrots, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch of celery
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1.3 lbs lean ground turkey
  • 4 cups veggie broth
  • 1 (14.5oz) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (15oz) can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 ears of corn, kernels sliced off
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • dash of salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. In a large skillet heat the olive oil. Add garlic.
  2. Add chopped carrots, cover for 5 minutes.
  3. Add onions, celery and fennel. Sauté until soft.
  4. In another skillet cook the ground turkey over medium heat until fully cooked, stirring often. Drain off excess fat.
  5. Transfer the veggies to large soup pot and add the remaining ingredients, and the cooked turkey. Cover and cook over low heat for 40 minutes. Add extra water as desired.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 119 calories, 1 fat, 336mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, and 15g protein.

Apr
18
2012
0

Super Soup

Soup is a wonderful meal to enjoy when you’re focused on losing weight – with a few guidelines.

  1. Never choose soups that have a cream base. These are filled with more calories and fat than you need.
  2. Avoid soups that have noodles or rice.
  3. Make sure that your soup has a lean source of protein, such as lean turkey or chicken breast.
  4. Look for soups loaded with veggies.
Apr
16
2012
0

6 Simple Steps For Achieving Any Goal

If you’re not happy with your body then your workouts have lost focus.

What is your immediate goal?

If you don’t have a ready answer then chances are good that your motivation is low and it has resulted in a lack of results.

I know from firsthand experience that operating without a goal will get you nowhere. Sure, you may still be exercising regularly and eating mindfully but without that concrete goal your efforts will yield little results.

1. Setting your goal 

You want to be in “better shape” but that’s so vague. Dig deeper.

What specifically do you wish you had now that you don’t?

  • To drop 3 dress sizes.
  • To lose 2 inches of arm fat jiggle.
  • To melt 4 inches from your waist.
  • To be able to run 3 miles without stopping.

2. Define your timeline 

Now that you’ve determined exactly what part of your body isn’t up to par, tie that goal in with a specific timeline. When you have a timeline to measure your progress against, you’ll find that achieving your goal becomes an easier process.

  • To drop 3 dress sizes by August 20th vacation.
  • To lose 2 inches of arm fat jiggle by October 13th wedding.
  • To melt 4 inches from your waist by July 7th pool party.
  • To be able to run 3 miles without stopping by June 16th city 5k.

3. Name your prize 

It’s time to take your motivation to the next level. Now that your specific goal is set and your timeline is clearly defined, let’s add a prize that you’ll receive once you’ve accomplished your goal. This prize shouldn’t be anything related to your unhealthy habits – so no junk food or extra large meals. Make the prize an item that will reinforce your slimmer body, like a nice piece of clothing.

  • A couple new outfits for your August vacation.
  • A sleeveless dress for the October wedding.
  • A new swimsuit for your July pool party.
  • A new pair of running shoes for your June 5k.

4. Picture it 

You know what you want, when you want it by, and the reward you’ll get by achieving it. Now spend time picturing your end goal. Find a comfortable, quiet corner, close your eyes and see a mental movie – starring yourself – enjoying your reward with your new and improved body. Play your mental success movie several times throughout the day.

  • See yourself enjoying an afternoon of your vacation, wearing your new clothes with confidence.
  • Imagine how you’ll feel walking down the aisle baring your toned arms.
  • See yourself lounging by the pool in your swimsuit, carefree and happy.
  • Imagine the feeling of accomplishment you’ll feel as you cross the finish line.

5. Recipe for success 

The steps that you’ve taken above have prepared you to mentally take on the challenge of motivating yourself through this transformation process. All that remains is a solid exercise and nutrition plan to push you through to your new body.

This is where I come in.

I’m fanatical about propelling each and every one of my clients through their own personal body transformation.

Call or email today and I’ll get you started on a program that will make your goals a reality.

 

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Apr
13
2012
0

Turkey-Stuffed Bell Peppers

 

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring! These turkey-stuffed bell peppers are the perfect meal for those days when you’re bored of eating healthy. Shhhh, your taste buds won’t suspect that this dish is low-carb and protein-filled. Serve over a bed of greens for a complete meal.
Servings: 5

Here’s what you need…

  • 5 organic bell peppers
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 20 oz organic ground turkey, 99% fat free
  • 1 organic tomato, chopped
  • 3/4 cup spaghetti sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add a pinch of salt. Cut the tops off the bell peppers and remove the seeds. Place in the boiling water, using a spoon to keep them submerged for 3 minutes or until the skin is slightly softened. Drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet heat the oil on medium. Add the garlic, basil, onion, rosemary, parsley, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions begin to soften. Add the ground turkey and continue to heat until the meat is browned. Add the tomato and cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat. Pour the spaghetti sauce into the turkey mixture and mix well. Add the cheese and mix until well combined.
  5. Stuff each prepared bell pepper with the turkey mixture and place on prepared baking sheet. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the bell peppers are tender.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 193 calories, 3 fat, 256mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, and 28g protein.

Apr
11
2012
0

Brain Benefits Of Exercise

A growing body of research continues to confirm links between exercise and improved brain function. So in addition to making you stronger, leaner, sexier, and more confident, your time at the gym will actually make you smarter.

Apr
11
2012
0

Poland Announces Complete Ban On Monsanto’s Genetically Modified Corn

 

GMOcorn2 220x137 Poland Announces Complete Ban on Monsantos Genetically Modified MaizeFollowing the anti-Monsanto activism launched by nations like France and Hungary, Polandhas announced that it will launch a complete ban on growing  Monsanto’s  genetically modified strain MON810. The announcement, made by Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki, sets yet another international standard against Monsanto’s genetically modified creations. In addition to being linked to a plethora health ailments, Sawicki says that the pollen originating from this GM strain may actually be devastating the already dwindling bee population.

The decree is in the works. It introduces a complete ban on the MON810 strain of maize in Poland,” Sawicki stated to the press.


Similar opposition to Monsanto occurred on March 9th, when 7 European countries blocked a proposal by the Danish EU presidency which would permit the cultivation of genetically modified plants on the entire continent. It was France, who in February, lead the charge against GMOs by asking the European Commission to suspend authorization to Monsanto’s genetically modified corn. What’s more, the country settled a landmark case in favor of the people over Monsanto, finding the biotech giant guilty of chemical poisoning.

In a ruling given by a court in Lyon (southeast France), grain grower Paul Francois stated that Monsanto failed to provide proper warnings on the Lasso weedkiller product label which resulted in neurological problems such as memory loss and headaches. The court ordered an expert opinion to determine the sum of the damages, and to verify the link between Lasso and the reported illnesses. The result was a guilty charge, paving the way for further legal action on behalf of injured farmers.

Since 1996, the agricultural branch of the French social security system has gathered about 200 alerts per year regarding sickness related to pesticides. However only 47 cases were even recognized in the past 10 years.

Nations are continually taking a stand against Monsanto, with nations like Hungary destroying 1000 acres of GM maize and India slamming Monsanto with ‘biopiracy‘ charges.

Source