April, 2013 | The Cycle Project

Archive for April, 2013


6 Steps To Achieve Your Goals

You want to get into better shape, to drop the fat and to increase your tone and strength.

Join the club…most people are actively working toward an elusive fitness goal.

So what separates those who end up achieving their goals from the rest of the masses who are trapped in a fruitless struggle?

Winston Churchill hit the nail on the head when he said, “Never, never, never, never give up.”

The bottom line is that it is possible to achieve any fitness goal when you lock on to it and strive towards it every day. Unfortunately distractions are everywhere, making it easy to fall off track.

This brings us to the classic Henry Ford quote, “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”

In order to stay the course it is vital that you keep your eyes on the goal.

Here’s how to get to your goal in 6 Steps:


Step One: Make Sure Your Goals Are   S.M.A.R.T

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-Targeted

In setting goals, you need to have all 5 of these elements in order to set yourself up for success. “I want to lose 5-10 pounds”, or “I want to Tone Up” aren’t very good goals.  They aren’t specific and will never allow you to know if you have reached your goal without a time.

“I currently weigh 200 pounds.  On or before June 15th I will weigh 185 pounds.”  ”I currently run a 5K in 45 min.  For my next race on July 12, I will run it in 35 min”

Both of these goals have all 5 elements to increase your chances to successfully complete your goals.  The have a specific, measurable goal.  They have a time for which they have to be completed, and are realistic if the effort is put in.  Following these guidelines, will help keep you on track.
Step Two: Only One At A Time
When you’re feeling motivated, and decide to set a goal, it’s tempting to become over-ambitious by setting multiple goals. While it’s great that you want to improve many things about yourself, the pressure of trying to achieve more than one goal at once will cause you to drop all the goals and go back to status quo.

Focus in on the one goal that you really want to achieve first, and focus all of your efforts onto this goal with laser-like force. There will be plenty of time in the future to see to your other goals, but for now see your number one goal all the way through to completion.  The added focus for each goal and confidence of achieving one will help motivate you through the rest of your goals.

Step Three: Start Slow
Another pitfall that often results in dropped goals is the act of starting out too fast and too strong. If your goal in fitness is to drop 6 pant sizes and to exercise 5 times a week, do not (I repeat, DO NOT) go out and hit the gym hard for the next 5 days in a row. You’ll be so sore that I guarantee you’ll stop all progress the following week and your goal will be put back on a shelf.

It probably took your body a long time to get to the point you are now, that you want to change.  Its also going to take a while to get back to where you want to be.  Take a deep breath and remember that this isn’t a race. This is your life, and it’s you against yourself. Start out slow and steady and gradually build as you progress toward your goal. Not only is a slow and steady start the the best way to stick with your plan, its also the healthiest for your body.  If you are starting something new (running, working out, eating Fiber, etc…) your body needs that slow start to adapt…physically and mentally.
Step Four: What’s Your “Why” 
Why is this goal so important to you? There are probably many reasons, and you should know every single one of them. WRITE DOWN each and every possible reason you can come up with as to why your goal needs to be met.  Post them on your fridge or on your bath room mirror.  That way you will see them every night before you go to bed and every morning when you wake up!

Intimately get to know the ‘reasons why’ this goal is so important to you. You should have them memorized and should recite them every single day. Remember what Ford said – when you take your eyes of your goal you’ll see loads and loads of obstacles. Keep your eyes locked onto that goal by filling your mind with all of the ‘reasons why’ you’re going to see this thing through.

Step Five: Think About It
Along with thinking about your reasons for accomplishing your goal, it’s also helpful to focus your mind on how you’ll feel once you’ve done it. Dedicate some time each day to picture your new post-goal life.

How awesome are you going to feel when you’ve accomplished this goal that’s been on your mind for so long? Pretty amazing. Fill your mind with that feeling of accomplishment well before you’ve finished the work. The more you feel connected to the end of the race, the more likely it is that you’ll make it through.

Step Six: Put It All On The Line
It’s time to put your money where your mouth is. Invest in something that will help propel you toward your goal. When you shell out some of your hard earned money to aide in your progress, then you are going to take this process that much more seriously.   Buy that new dress in the size you are going to be, and hang it up where you can see it.  Make a “bet” with friends.

Also, tell your friends what you are doing.  Not only will they help encourage and motivate you, but they will also be more likely to make choices that will keep you on track.  Make it easier to choose the healthy restaraunt for dinner instead of the fast food, etc…

It’s time to seriously commit yourself to seeing this goal to completion. If your goal is to lose weight, get into amazing shape or race in an event then invest in one of my proven fitness programs.

My clients see results. My clients achieve their goals.




Does The FDA Ensure Our Food Is Safe?

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — When PepsiCo Inc. announced it would stop putting an obscure vegetable oil in its Gatorade right before the Super Bowl, one of the loudest cheers came from a high school student who had made it her mission to get rid of the ingredient.

“I was like, ‘Whoa,’” said Sarah Kavanagh, a 16-year-old from Hattiesburg, Miss., who wanted to know how an oil that contains a chemical also found in flame retardants got into her favorite sports drink. After she posted a petition on Change.org asking Pepsi to remove it, more than 200,000 people signed.

“I just wanted to make sure it was something that I could drink,” said the teen.

From oil in Gatorade to the amount of caffeine and other stimulants in energy drinks and the so-called “pink slime” found in beef, previously unnoticed ingredients are coming under scrutiny as health-conscious consumers demand more information about what they eat and drink, and sometimes go public via social networking and the Internet.

So how does some of this stuff get into our food?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reviews and approves most additives to food or drinks before they hit the marketplace. But others can bypass that process if they are deemed “generally recognized as safe” by the government or food companies and the experts they hire.

Take the story of Gatorade.

Developed in 1965 at the University of Florida to help football players keep hydrated in the heat, Gatorade was an immediate hit. By 1969, a private company acquired rights to market the drink and started adding brominated vegetable oil to distribute flavor evenly in a new orange version.

In those days, the oil was included in a list of additives, preservatives and chemicals that the government calls “generally recognized as safe.” The “GRAS” designation took root more than a half-century ago as a way to help the processed food industry avoid lengthy reviews for ingredients that were considered, by qualified experts, to be safe under conditions of intended use.

Then, the list included ingredients such as vitamin A and citric acid — about 180 in all.

Today, as food scientists create more and more new ingredients to add health benefits or help food stay fresh, there are at least 4,650 of these “generally recognized as safe” ingredients, according to the nonpartisan Pew Charitable Trusts. The bulk of them, at least 3,000, were determined GRAS by food manufacturers or trade associations, and their expert scientists.

But no one knows exactly how many “GRAS” ingredients are in products because manufacturers are not required to notify the FDA before adding them.

BVO was on the “safe” list when Stokely-Van Camp Inc. developed orange-flavored Gatorade in 1969. The FDA notes that BVO contains far less bromine than flame retardants and is considered safe for use in limited quantities in fruit-flavored drinks. It is used to emulsify citrus oil in fruit-flavored beverages including Mountain Dew, Fanta and Powerade.

The ingredient, which is banned as an additive in Japan and the European Union, will remain in orange Gatorade through this spring, said spokeswoman Molly Carter of PepsiCo, which now owns Gatorade. She added that the decision to drop it was sparked by consumer rumblings over the past year, not Kavanagh’s petition specifically.

“While our products are safe, we are making this change because we know that some consumers have a negative perception of BVO in Gatorade,” Carter said in a statement.

In 1958, Congress amended the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to establish the “generally recognized as safe” exemption. In the following years, FDA added ingredients to its “safe” list after reviewing the supporting science. However, that proved a time-consuming process, so in 1997 FDA changed its procedures to allow food companies to voluntarily notify the agency of ingredients they consider safe by submitting published research and expert opinion. Not all do. But since 1997, the FDA has received 451 such notifications, and the agency disagreed with the science in 17 cases.

Industry associations say the process saves the government money and supports innovation by reducing red tape. Representatives also say manufacturers have every incentive to make their products safe.

However, even if the FDA disagrees with the supporting science, current law provides no clear recourse to stop companies from adding these GRAS ingredients to food products.

That was the case with a hemp seed ingredient that biologist Vyacheslav Dushenkov notified FDA about in 1999, when he worked for a now-defunct company that wanted to sell hempseed oil and powder.

The FDA rejected his scientific work in 2000, saying Dushenkov’s anecdotal and historical examples of the medicinal use of hemp did not prove it was safe for use in food, but Los Angeles-based Chronic Ice Tea now cites Dushenkov’s research in a blog advertising drinks made with hempseed powder.

“We were just quoting it to bring awareness to all the scientific work that has already gone on around hemp safety,” said Michael Stweart, the company’s chief operating officer who says hempseed ingredients have health benefits similar to those of fish oil.

If FDA suspects an ingredient deemed “safe” is actually harmful, the government can take action after a product hits the market, but it does not track how often that has happened. In one case, in 2010, the agency issued warning letters to four makers of popular caffeinated alcoholic drinks, declaring caffeine unsafe in alcoholic beverages. Under threat of product seizure, the companies stopped making the drinks.

Consumers may also petition the FDA to take an ingredient off the “safe” list, although a report by the Government Accountability Office found those requests can take years to review.

Earlier this year, the FDA proposed sweeping new food safety rules regarding contamination of food in the wake of recent listeria and salmonella outbreaks, but no changes were proposed to the GRAS system.

Michael Taylor, FDA deputy commissioner for foods, said in an interview that he feels the program works well but that it is time to consider updating it to ensure the evidence supporting “safe” designations reflects the latest science. He added that FDA would benefit from having access to the scientific evidence companies use to determine that an ingredient is GRAS.

“We’re not driven by a sense that there is a pressing public health emergency,” Taylor said. “But there are decisions being made based on data that we don’t have access to, and that creates a question about the basis on which those decisions are made.”

In 1969, President Richard Nixon ordered FDA to review food additives then on the “safe” list. While concluding most ingredients were safe, the review panel questioned the safety of 35 substances. In its 2010 examination of the program, the GAO found FDA had yet to review 18 of those. The agency could not readily explain why, but has in the past pointed to short staffing.

The GAO also recommended that companies be required to tell FDA and the public about any ingredients they deem “safe,” and that FDA take steps to prevent scientific conflicts of interest.

Taylor said that over the next year FDA may send out new administrative rules detailing how companies should demonstrate ingredient safety, but he noted it would take an act of Congress to force companies to share all their information with FDA.

George Washington University’s Public Health Dean Lynn Goldman, who in 2011 studied the GRAS program at FDA’s request, believes letting companies evaluate their own ingredients risks biased science. “The public should expect that the FDA can give some assurance that the safety of our food is not simply determined by the industry,” she said.

Recent reports of deaths after the consumption of energy drinks or shots have prompted U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Richard Blumenthal, Democrats from Illinois and Connecticut, to ask the FDA to investigate whether specific stimulants in the drinks can be harmful, including some deemed GRAS by beverage makers. FDA has not determined what caused the deaths.

Carl Keen holds the chair in developmental nutrition at the University of California, Davis — a position funded by Mars, Inc. As such, Keen develops new ingredients for the candy giant, and his research has found that certain nutrients in cocoa powder can lower heart disease risk.

He and other food scientists said the GRAS process is an efficient way to get beneficial new additives to consumers and that companies apply the highest safety standards.

“You’ll have the average consumer say industry research taints the system,” he said. “But if you ask them should the federal government be vetting research on the health benefits of chocolate and cocoa, they’ll probably say no.”


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Tuna Cakes


Since the drive thru value meal is not an option for you (your standards are way too high for that!), here’s a quick and cost effective meal that delivers both in taste and nutrition. Serve with some plain Greek yogurt mixed with lemon juice and fresh chopped dill.


Servings: 8
Here’s what you need:

  • 3 (5oz) cans albacore tuna, in water
  • 2 omega-3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons flax seeds, ground
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh dill, minced; or 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • dash black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  1. Drain the tuna and flake into a medium size bowl. Add the eggs, lemon, Dijon, flax, dill and pepper. Mix well.
  2. In a large skillet place the olive oil over medium heat. Form the tuna mixture into 8 patties. Flatten each patty onto the skillet and cook for 3 minutes per side.

Nutritional Analysis: 108 calories, 5g fat, 182mg sodium, .4g carbs, .3g fiber, 15g protein




In Maryland, Triathlon Becomes Part of P.E.


TriColumbia, the Mid-Atlantic’s premier endurance event production company, today announced a partnership with the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) to implement elementary, middle and high school triathlon instruction during physical education courses in an effort to educate students on the lifestyle benefits of triathlon. The partnership was formalized with an official signing on September 28 at Wilde Lake Middle School in Columbia, Md.

The first program of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic, TriColumbia will collaborate with physical education instructors to pilot a triathlon (swim, bike, run) program for fourth grade students at Hammond and Talbott Springs elementary schools, sixth grade students at Burleigh Manor and Wilde Lake middle schools, and ninth grade students at Glenelg and Long Reach high schools. HCPSS will provide instructional assistance in swimming, cycling and running, as well as necessary equipment and transportation.

“The HCPSS partnership with TriColumbia provides a new opportunity for our students to be active in a fun and exciting way,” said Mary Schiller of the HCPSS Partnerships Office. “Students will learn that the sport of triathlon welcomes athletes of all abilities; that it is as much about embracing a healthy lifestyle and having a can-do attitude as it is about the finish line.”

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Maryland¹s state obesity rate was close to 25 percent in 2010, about a quarter of Maryland residents. Furthermore, across the United States, only 3.8 percent of elementary schools, 7.9 percent of middle schools and 2.1 percent of high schools provide daily physical education or its equivalent for the entire school year. Twenty-two percent of schools do not require students to take any physical education at all. It has been proven that regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence improves strength and endurance, helps build healthy bones and muscles, helps control weight, reduces anxiety and stress, and increases self-esteem, all goals of this triathlon instruction program.

“Our goal is for students to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to carry on when they leave Howard County Public Schools,” said Jackie French, Instructional Facilitator of Physical Education for HCPSS. “This unique program further contributes to that goal by providing a foundation for youth to build an active lifestyle that will last a lifetime.”

Each program will be designed appropriately for the students ages and fitness levels, and modifications will be made as needed to ensure that all students, including those with disabilities, are able to participate successfully. TriColumbia will also sponsor 25 scholarships for age-appropriate triathlons, to be awarded by P.E. instructors to students at each participating school.

“Having the opportunity to work with the Howard County Public School System to educate students on the benefits of healthy lifestyles through triathlon is a tremendous honor for TriColumbia,” said Robert Vigorito, President and founder of TriColumbia. “It has always been a dream of mine to give back to the community and to educate our youth and I would like to thank HCPSS as well as our sponsors for making this possible.”

Sponsors of the pilot program include Howard County General Hospital, The Horizon Foundation and McDonalds Family Restaurants of Greater Baltimore.

TriColumbia is a 501 (C)(3) nonprofit and the Mid-Atlantic’s premier endurance event production company providing an array of events for all ability levels across the triathlon/multisport continuum. Founded by current president, race director and 6-time Ironman Kona finisher, Robert Vigorito in 1983, the organization makes a difference for participating athletes by providing superior events and memories to last a lifetime, but also gives back to the community by supporting many local and regional charities, which provide a full spectrum of support for citizens in need. For more, visit TriColumbia.org.


Source: Lava Magazine


Raise The Standards For You!

Raise Your Standards

You wouldn’t put unreliable fuel in your car, so why put harmful food into your body? Here’s a list of the foods that should NOT meet your standards:

  • Sugar-filled beverages like soda pop, sweet coffee drinks or sweetened tea.
  • Packaged snack foods, like chips, crackers or popcorn.
  • Baked goods containing gluten and/or sugar.
  • Sweets or candy made with sugar or corn syrup.
  • Food from a fast food chain.
  • Food that’s been fried.
  • Anything with High-Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Anything with Hydrogenated or Partially Hydrogenated Oils


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INTENSITY – The Key To Your Workout

Here’s the #1 Fitness Tip

You’re going to love me for this tip because it’s so simple and yet it makes all of the difference when it comes to your fitness results.

The sad truth is that more than 90 percent of gym goers fail to achieve the level of results they want—even after a full year of faithfully going through their routine.

Maybe you can relate.

It doesn’t have to be this way. I believe that you deserve to get the highest level of results possible from that valuable time that you invest in exercise.

The simple concept below has the power to dramatically accelerate your fitness results…

The results you achieve are equal to the intensity of your workout. 

In other words, you get what you give when it comes to exercise and results.

If you simply go through the motions, while staying in your comfort zone, then results will always be a hope for tomorrow and not today’s reality.

So what exactly do I mean when I say intensity?

Intensity is a measure of how much energy you’re expending while exercising. The harder you push yourself, the higher your intensity. When you’re simply going through the motions of a routine, without digging down and giving it your all, the workout lacks intensity and your results will disappoint.

During your workout pay attention to how you feel. Could you be working harder? If the honest answer is yes, then step it up a notch. It’s worth it…

In addition to seeing awesome results quickly, there are two more benefits to bringing up your exercise intensity.

The first benefit is that when you bring the intensity you’re able to shorten exercise time. This means less time spent sweating away in the gym and more time doing the things you really love. All while getting even better results than with longer, low intensity workouts.

The second benefit is the after burn that you’ll experience after an intense workout. Simply put, this means that your body will continue to burn extra calories long after you have finished exercising. Talk about supercharging your results! Just imagine how quickly your body could transform when you begin to harness the power of exercise intensity.

One thing to remember – it’s important that you never sacrifice proper form in favor of intensity. As soon as your form starts to be compromised, reduce your intensity to where proper form is achieved.

I’m here to help you transform your body (and your whole life!) through the power of fitness.




Best Chicken Salad Recipe


Most chicken salad recipes contain loads of mayonnaise or dairy products, but not this one. A simple can of coconut milk makes this salad deliciously creamy while roasted chiles, fresh cilantro, sweet fruit and crunchy pecans really bring the flavor. Serve on large butter lettuce leaves.

Makes: 8 Servings
Here’s what you need…
For the Creamy Coconut Dressing:

  • 1 (14oz) can coconut milk, full fat
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • lemon zest (all you can get from one small lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • dash salt
  • dash pepper

For the Salad:

  • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup red grapes, halved
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 apple, finely chopped
  • 4oz can mild chopped green chiles
  • 1 lb roasted chicken, chopped
  1. For the Creamy Coconut Dressing: Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk well and then set in the fridge to chill while you prepare the salad.
  2. For the Salad: Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Add the creamy coconut dressing and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with large lettuce leaves and Dijon mustard.

Nutritional Analysis: 286 calories, 20g fat, 80mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 19g protein




Get Moving…Stop Stress

Got Stress? Get Moving!

Stressed out? Exercise is a simple solution to get you feeling good fast.

This is because every time you exercise your body increases its production of endorphins, which are responsible for that feel-good euphoria you get after a great workout or while chomping down on a piece of chocolate.

However, before you turn to chocolate and skip the gym, remember the end result of each and choose which one will help you reduce stress in the long run. (Hint: It’s not the chocolate!)


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Whole Foods Commits To GMO Labeling By 2018

At the March 8 Natural Products Expo West, Whole Foods committed to a full transparency of genetically modified organisms (GMO) labeling plan. By 2018, over 340 Whole Foods stores in the U.S. and Canada intend to have GMO labeling on all food products.

This plan is in response to the increasing prevalence surrounding the national conversation concerning GMOs — plants whose genetic makeup is altered to produce traits unattainable in nature.

“GMOs are pervasive — 93 percent of soy, 88 percent of field corn, 94 percent of cotton and over 90 percent of canola seed and sugar beets planted in the U.S. are GMOs,” said Libba Letton, spokesperson for Whole Foods Markets.

Because of this, there has been a push from Whole Foods by their customers for GMO labeling.

“We are committing to full transparency and setting a five-year deadline to label all products to support the consumer’s right to know. Our customers have consistently asked for clear labeling,” said Kate Lowry, global PR director for Whole Foods.

The commitment to organic foods and transparency has been ongoing, as Whole Foods has worked closely with supplier partners, such as the Non-GMO Project — a nonprofit that works with over 15,000 food retailers to put out their 365-Everyday Value line of verified GMO free products — since 2009.

“The Non-GMO Project is committed to building and preserving non-GMO food supply. We have project verification programs all through the food supply chain. I think this is fantastic to see a store of this size making this level of commitment,” said Courtney Pineau, assistant director of the Non-GMO Project.

As the eighth largest food and drug store in the U.S., Whole Foods Markets sell 300,000 products from more than 10,000 vendors annually, over 3,300 of which are non-GMO verified products from 250 brands. In the 2012 fiscal year, they made $11.7 billion.

“The prevalence of GMOs in this country makes it hard for retailers to source GMOs. It also makes it hard for consumers to choose, so we are recommitting ourselves to full visibility. Offering those choices in our products is paramount to a more informed consumer,” Lowry said.

Not only has Whole Foods worked with the Non-GMO Project, but it has also extended support for current policy-changing efforts for GMO labeling. Examples include JustLabelIt.org in Washington, D.C., efforts in Washington state and Proposition 37 in the most recent California election.

“While we are encouraged by the many mandatory labeling initiatives, we are committed to moving forward with our own GMO transparency plan,” said Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market in a released statement.

The proposal is intended to push the national debate surrounding GMO labeling forward.

“We are Americans and we have a right to know what is in the products we buy and consume. We hope our efforts and the efforts of JustLabelIt.org and the others putting it to [the] test on ballot initiatives will lead to uniform national standards. We hope our proposal creates a ripple effect,” Lowry said.

Gary Hirshberg, the CEO of Stonyfield Yogurt and the chairman and founding partner of the Just Label It campaign, has been a vocal proponent of the move to label GMO foods. In a recent blog for The Huffington Post, he explains:

Our government’s failure to require labeling, and to be engaged in developing the science supporting GE food risk assessment is an absolute breach of its responsibility to the American public.

There are in fact lots of reasons to label these foods: health and environmental concerns, ethical/religious views or just because people want to know. In fact, Mellman research shows 92 percent of citizens want the right to know with no meaningful statistical difference between men and women, Republicans and Democrats, urban and rural communities, education level or any demographic.

The bottom line is: without labeling, consumers are completely in the dark. The FDA can label GE foods. And the vast majority of consumers want them to be labeled.

Whole Foods Markets representatives do foresee challenges with the proposal in the next five years.

“Growing enough non-GMO food to meet demand could be a challenge, because it’s going against a 30-year trend in agriculture which favors GMO crops. Many suppliers are looking overseas for non-GMO grains and other ingredients. We want to encourage more American farmers to transition to growing non-GMO crops so supply can meet demand,” Letton said.

Students at UC Davis have differing opinions on GMO labeling, especially because Prop. 37 proposed full disclosure of GMOs on all food products.

“I believe that having to repackage everything would lead to more of a cost to consumers. If every company had to label their GMO products, then in addition to the cost of GMO foods going up, the price of non-GMO food would also go up because it would be considered ‘better,’ sort of like organic food. However, labeling GMOs might stigmatize them, and that could slow progress on those kinds of endeavors,” said David Belcher, a first-year political science major.

Other students feel supportive of GMO labeling.

“I really think we should be labeling food that has been altered. I want to know what is in my food. If we are able to label all organic food, we should be able to label GMO products without much of a difference in cost,” said Zach Dahla, a first-year economics and communication double major.

Ultimately, Whole Foods hopes that its commitment to GMO labeling will influence other retailers to make changes and have a higher regard for informing consumers about what’s in their food.

“I think it’ll motivate and drive change for many retailers and that’ll be the biggest area of growth for a more informed consumer,” Pineau said. “What Whole Foods has committed to is so exciting for us at the Non-GMO Project.”




The Choice Is Hard

I know why you’ve been reluctant to jump on the fitness bandwagon, and I’m not blaming you for it.

Because fitness is hard.

Want to know just how hard? Here’s a glimpse into the Fit Life:

Fit Life Truth #1: Exercise Counts
Lace up your shoes and hit the gym instead of getting extra sleep, watching TV or doing whatever else it is that you’d rather be doing. Do this 3-5 times each for 30-60 minutes.

Fit Life Truth #2: Nutrition Counts
Choose your meals based on the nutritional makeup rather than following your taste buds. Limit your intake of simple carbohydrates and get lots of protein and fiber in each meal.

Fit Life Truth #3: No Room For Junk
Turn down your favorite junk foods –even when you really, really want it. Cut simple sugars and harmful, processed fats out of your diet completely.

Fit Life Truth #4: Push Harder
Push your body to be stronger, faster and better during each workout. Don’t simply go through the motions in your routine – consistently challenge your muscles to do more each day.

Fit Life Truth #5: Calories Count
Limit your total calories to within an appropriate range for your size and goals. Remember, even healthy calories can add up to weight gain when you’re not careful.

That’s just the basics on what it takes to enjoy a fit and healthy body. Pretty hard, right? Now let’s take a look at with the NOT-Fit life looks like…

NOT-Fit Life Truth #1: Be Sedentary
Spend your spare time being as sedentary as possible. The less that you use your muscles, the more aches, pains and mobility limitations you’ll experience. Oh, and if you’re consuming more calories than your natural metabolism burns then you’ll steadily gain weight.

NOT-Fit Life Truth #2: Eat For Taste
Eat whatever sounds and tastes good. The human palate is naturally drawn to items that are high in sugar, salt and fat. Your eat-whatever-diet will be filled with these fattening foods and will be lacking in protein and fiber. You’ll find your weight increases, and your energy levels plummet, accordingly.

NOT-Fit Life Truth #3: Just Say Yes
To your favorite junk food, that is. As I mentioned above, your favorite foods are likely high in sugar, salt and fat. Or, more likely, your faves are high in all three! Your indulgent eating is going to raise the number on your scale higher, and higher, and higher.

NOT-Fit Life Truth #4: Get Comfortable
Your goal is to be comfy. This means use as little muscular strength as you can on a daily basis. When you don’t use your muscles they begin to atrophy (shrink!), leaving you with less lean tissue. Since lean tissue raises your metabolism, a drop in lean tissue means you’ll be burning fewer calories at rest than ever before.

NOT-Fit Life Truth #5: More Is Better
There’s no limit on how much you eat – in fact more is better. As a result you often feel sluggish from your overloaded digestive system. And your motivation to exercise and turn your NOT-Fit Life into a Fit Life gets dimmer and dimmer.

So which life is harder? The Fit Life? Or the NOT-Fit Life?

The truth is that both of these lifestyles are hard. Just depends on which hard you’d rather deal with.

The Fit Life’s hard has to do with discipline, motivation and determination. It’s about doing the right thing rather than the easy thing. Most of all, the Fit-Life is about constantly striving forward.

The NOT-Fit Life’s hard has to do with excess fat, aches, pains and physical limitations. It’s about avoiding doing the hard thing now and ending up with a body that’s just plain hard to live in. Most of all, the NOT-Fit Life is about NOT taking action.

Which hard do you choose? 


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