September 27, 2012
We had the honor of volunteering and meeting some amazing families at the Hospitality House of Charlotte NC. The Hospitality House is a non-profit organization for families in medical crisis. They survive 100% off of charitable donations and volunteer efforts. Hospitality House is more than just a place to sleep. Their guests know, firsthand, what it feels like to stay where everyone knows the stress you are under, and people are here to give a hug or lend an ear to listen. As one guest put it, HHoC is a “port in a storm.” This is not only a place where families from all over the world stay, but also, where they find common comfort and emotional support in one another…a home away from home. I found about this through my own step-mom who’s been battling cancer for over 10 years and has stayed there in the past. I knew what an amazing place it was and how special the people were who worked there.
So we gathered a group of coaches and went to volunteer our time and prepare a meal for the families and patients there. It was humbling and tragic to hear the stories we heard and to see the horrible things some of them are going through. It would amaze you the strength these families have.
I met one lady who had been at the hospital all week sleeping on the floor in the waiting room as her son who was there because of a self inflicted gunshot wound was in and out of surgery. Beside her was his 10 year old son. It made my heart break as a parent to see the pain she was going through and to also realize the other side of it, which was what the little boy must be thinking and experiencing. After sleeping on the floor for a week, the lady’s sister had donated the money for her to stay at the Hospitality House and finally have a bed to call her own while in town.
Meeting these families will make you realize how short and valuable life is and how lucky we were to have the good fortune that God has blessed us with. One of the workers at the Hospitality House, Libby, said to us “You may think you have it bad in life, but there’s always someone out there who’s got it worse.”. Man, did that hit home.
If you’d like to donate your time or money to the Hospitality House of Charlotte, please visit them here. And if you’re not in Charlotte, there’s probably a Hospitality House in your area that could use your help.
September 24, 2012
Does Insanity and The Asylum Work? See for yourself! I had the honor of meeting Billy at a Shaun T event in Charlotte NC. Little did I know that he was actually assigned to us as our customer when he bought Insanity from Beachbody. You see Beachbody believes you’ll have more success if you have a FREE coach to support you then if you try and go it alone. Sad truth is, most people never take advantage of the support they have in their coach because they’re afraid. Afraid of failing and embarrassing themselves. They also are afraid to acknowledge that they bought a “fitness dvd” off of a website or an infomercial. Truth is, I know exactly how you feel! I felt the same way! It was weird to think that you can buy a dvd and do it at home and get results like Billy did! Billy started off with Shaun T’s Insanity program and for 60 days he pushed play and dug deep. Then after he “earned it”, he moved on to Shaun T’s graduate program Insanity the Asylum. Billy learned what it was like to train like an athlete and he dug in for 30 days and committed to himself to finish. I had the honor of working out with Billy almost every week and I saw him on the days when he was gasping for air and wanted to puke! But I saw a determination in him that was unwavering. He came and worked out with me every week, but between those Mondays, he was home pushing play, trying to beat my numbers on the lateral jump (lol, had to put it in there Billy) and now I see a lean, mean, athletic machine. Billy really impressed me with his dedication. His last round of Asylum I remember him saying “I want to do it again, because I don’t think I did my best the first time…”. I couldn’t believe this guy’s dedication! When I asked Billy if he felt weird about buying a DVD program he said “yeah, but after I started it, I really liked Shaun T and what he did and the way he works on you……I got Insanity, because of the fact that you didn’t need any equipment”. Billy’s goals going into Insanity? “To tone up, lose weight and back fat”. Well, that he definitely did! Billy’s weight went from 195lbs. to 161lbs! Body Fat dropped from 20% to 14.5%! Billy is a true inspiration to me and all who know him. Congrats Billy, you killed it dude! I can’t wait to do Asylum 2 with you later this month! To join a challenge group like Billy did and work with us or even Billy himself (yes, he’s now a coach!), contact us today! We actually pay people to get in shape! Click HERE to find out more!
September 24, 2012
One of the things you may be going through right now if you’re exercising at the gym or really pushing yourself with P90X or Insanity is dealing with your body’s hydration needs. Your body needs water as you do these programs, especially your muscles!
Nothing can be produced or even continue to exist without the aid of water. It’s the essence of life. Three-fourths of the Earth is covered with it and over sixty percent of our bodies are comprised of it. Water delivers nutrients and oxygen. It also hydrates and provides moisture.
In the human body water carries out multiple functions. Not only does water promote the already mentioned functions, but it also regulates body temperature, aids in metabolism, protects our joints and vital organism and it helps our bodies to absorb nutrients. Our body’s require water to be able to perform every function. Even at a cellular level the body needs water. The cells inside the human body need water in order to dissolve different chemicals and hormones traveling throughout. If the body were not able to breakdown these substances our bodies would eventually shut down.
Moreover, muscles, blood, bones and your brain all consists of various levels of water. It is important that we keep our body’s supply of water at a consistent level so it can function properly. If any part of your body lacks water then you will feel certain side effects, some can be very dangerous. Take for instance your muscles. Without proper hydration your muscles can get easily fatigue. This is the reason why it’s suggested that people replenish their water levels after exercising.
Without water your body starts to dehydrate and your muscles begin to lose oxygen. As a result you will experience cramping, head aches, dizziness and unstable blood pressure. A steady decline in hydration can even cause death. Clear signs of dehydration includes tiredness, dark urine, hunger, excessive thirst and dry skin. A good rule of thumb is to never wait until the point that you are thirsty. If you are thirsty you are probably already dehydrated.
The benefits of consuming water are just as plentiful as the consequences of going without it. One of the best benefits of water is assessed through the digestion process. When you drink plenty of fluids you’re body is able to properly metabolize food and will not become constipated.
Water also helps you to think and stay focused. Being that your brain is ninety percent water good hydration is needed for a healthy mental state. On a physical level water promotes healthy luminous skin and helps you to lose weight by breaking up fats and suppressing your appetite.
Once you decide that you need to increase the amount of water in your diet you’re next consideration should be on what type of water you will consume. There are all kinds of water from purified to spring. But which type of water is the best? Is the source of one better than another? Bottle water, tap water, well water, etc? For the sake of strong debate lets consider the two main sources of water consumption. On one side you have bottle water, tap water is on the other side.
Tap water is basically any drinking what that comes out of an inside tap. The water itself is from rivers, lakes and underground wells. It is processed by municipal, city and other domestic water systems. Tap water itself is deemed very safe. The water that comes from these sources are filtered and treated according to pre-established guidelines. Every water system supplying water to a city or town goes through vigorous testing and must pass re-occurring safety inspections.
The rising concern that accompanies tap water is that some water purification systems have been proven insufficient in some areas. In some regions around the United States there are processing plants that have failed to provide safe levels of potable water. Meaning there was a overpopulation of bacteria and pathogens found at testing- usually it’s the result of run-offs, byproducts or chemicals. Unfortunately the public normally finds out about these contaminants after the fact.
The alternative to tap water is bottled water. Bottle water comes from different sources. Usually purified and drinking water comes from the same municipal sources as tap. The only difference is that it further goes through reverse osmosis, deionization and other types of treatments to “purify” the water. Natural and spring water on the other hand usually do come from mountains and springs you see advertised on the bottles. Natural sources keep their mineral and element compositions through treatment. They too go through vigorous testing and inspections. Bottled water manufacturers are held accountable by the FDA to provide safe, treated water to consumers.
Overall, bottle water, tap water… They’re pretty equal. It really comes down to taste and individual preference. Regardless of which you choose your body needs water to survive. The possibility of contaminates in no way foreshadow the body’s need for water. Whether bottle water, tap water your body needs approx. 8 glasses a day!
If you’d like more information or would like us to write about a health or fitness issue that you have, please contact us today!
September 13, 2012
One of the biggest struggles we encounter with people who do a Beachbody program with us, like P90X or Insanity is nutrition. Everyone wants to eat healthy but everyone thinks it costs more. The P90X Nutrition guide and the Insanity Nutrition Guide are probably the most important tool with the programs. If you don’t eat healthy, you’re just going to spin your wheels and get discouraged and eventually quit. Maybe this is you in the past? Let’s make that a memory.
In today’s economically challenged environment, it may seem like processed is all you can afford. How does one eat healthy on a budget? It takes some practice to find a balance between spending too much on food and trying to eat healthy. It is not as easy as buying a box of carbohydrates and processed cheese that is true, but you are up to the challenge. With a little guidance, you can learn how to eat right without breaking the bank.
Make a List
It seems too simple, but you will be surprised the benefits that come with just getting organized when it comes to your diet. Sit down one day a week and write out meal plans. This is how you control what you eat to stay on a healthy path. Once you create a week’s worth of meals and snacks, make a list of groceries from your menu. The goal is to go to the store and only buy what is on the list, no impulse shopping for you. You save on money and calories. The Beachbody Meal Planner is a great tool for this as well as many other smart phone apps etc.
Make the Most of Your List
Now that you have a list of healthy meals for the coming week and groceries to buy, start collecting relevant coupons. The Internet is a couponer’s best friend. You can look online for coupons to print out. Go through the print ads you get in the mail and in newspapers looking for sales. For example, one store may have fresh fruit on sale every Tuesdays as an alternative to hitting the farmer’s market. Do what you canbased on your schedule. If you have the time to visit three different stores to save, then do it.
Buy in Season
A healthy diet is full of pretty greens and fresh produce. These foods are often the most expensive. One way to save is to buy in season. For example, in the middle of winter is the wrong time to look for watermelon. During the summer months, you might find it on sale, however. When you are creating your menus, keep in mind that produce should be in season to save. Organic foods are better for you, but it is not necessary to be 100 percent organic to stay healthy. Concentrate on foods with thick skins. The skin protects the heart of the produce from pesticides, so buying organic is a waste. Onions, watermelon, avocados – these foods all have nice thick skins, so don’t spend extra for organic produce.
What about Homegrown?
Gardening is a fantastic way to get exercise, and not all gardens require an acre in the backyard and every moment of your free time. If you have limited space, consider planting a few things in containers that sit on the patio, rooftop or deck. Tomato plants are a good option. If that sounds like too much, everyone has room for an herb garden on their windowsill. Grow what you can, when you can.
Don’t Skip the Frozen Vegetables
Save money on frozen when you can. Frozen vegetables are sometimes as good, if not better, then fresh, and they cost less. Produce loses nutritional value the longer it sits off the vine. Frozen fruits and vegetables stop degrading as soon as they are frozen. This means frozen may have more nutritional value then fresh produce. Frozen vegetables lose value when you cook them wrong. Steam the vegetables instead of boiling them to get the most out of broccoli and carrots.
Some foods just make sense in bulk – beans and brown rice are two of them. When you combine these two foods together, you create what medical professionals call a complete protein. This means these two foods side by side contain all the amino acids your body needs for optimum health. They are inexpensive and store well in bulk form, so you can spend less on animal protein.
While you are buying in bulk, stop hand picking apples, oranges and potatoes. Buy a full bag when it is available. A bag gives you more for less money. You can look for healthy grains in bulk, as well. Oatmeal is economical, good for you and easy to dress up with fruit and a touch of brown sugar.
Eating on the Run
We live in a world of big portions. You can use that to your advantage when eating at a restaurant. If you are with a friend, split a plate and the check to save calories and money. If you are by yourself grabbing a quick lunch, ask the server to pack half the plate in a takeout container before bringing it to the table. You still are eating less and now you have lunch for two days, as well.
A healthy diet doesn’t have to be expensive. It does have to be well thought out, however. The key to eating right while living on a budget is planning. Set time aside each week to organize your diet. That hour or two will save you in long run, and keep you eating healthy too.
If you have any questions about this article or want to ask us a question feel free to contact us HERE.
September 12, 2012
It’s what everyone sees when they look at you, your gut. Whether you’re on the beach, in the nightclub or talking with strangers, it’s there. Maybe you can pretend not to see it or hide it behind baggy clothing, but it’s still there every time you’re shopping for a bathing suit or meet your potential soulmate. Your gut keeps you living in insecurity.
“What’s the best way to lose my gut or beer belly?” isn’t a question about vanity, but health. Most people make it about vanity and if that’s what it takes to get your attention, so be it. You, like most people, are concerned with the belly fat you can see. However, it’s the visceral fat that’s the problem too, even for thin individuals. Before answering the question what’s the best way to lose my gut or beer belly, it’s important to explain a couple things.
Your body stores fat in two ways:
• Under the skin
• Around vital organs
Just beneath your skin, you have the fat you notice. This is why you ask the question, “What’s the best way to lose my gut?” This type of fat, called subcutaneous fat, is located in your abdomen (your gut), thighs, buttocks and hips.
The second area of fat is called visceral fat. Visceral fat is needed because provides cushion deep inside and around your organs including your lungs, heart and digestive tract. It’s also located around the pelvis, your gut and chest.
You’re not supposed to notice visceral fat because it’s so deep inside your body. However, when you have too much visceral fat, you notice. Also, you have a greater chance of developing medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease.
There is good news about belly fat. When you’re losing weight the healthy way, it’s the first area you notice slimming down.
What to Focus on
One of the most important factors in losing your gut involves cardiovascular exercise. During your exercise routine, you want to work on increasing your heart rate because it helps you lose weight.
You want to focus on lean protein sources. These sources include turkey or chicken breast. Also, non-white starchy carbs like whole wheat pasta, boiled potatoes and brown rice is good too.
Reduce refined carbohydrates while you increase the whole grains. Refined carbohydrates such as white bread often change your glucose response. It elevates blood sugar and makes fat deposit in your body easier.
Limit the saturated fats too. This includes high-fat meat and dairy products like cheese and butter. Instead, increase the Monounsaturated Fatty Acids or MUFAS. The MUFAS help you lose your gut. Olives, avocados, nuts, avocados, canola oils and chocolate are rich in MUFAS.
Eliminate, or at least, moderate alcohol intake. Alcohol and junk food are empty calories which can increase your fat.
Decrease your calorie intake to about 1,600 calories. It takes approximately 3,500 calories to lose a pound. Thus, reducing your calories can help eliminate your belly fat. Even when you’re eating healthier, calories quickly add up, especially when at a restaurant. Keep your portions in control.
Avoid limiting your food calorie intake too much. For example, if you go lower than 1,000 calories a day, your body goes into starvation mode. Thus, it holds onto your body fat reserves—even the fat stored in your gut. You gain fat in your belly, not lose the dreaded gut weight.
Asking, “What’s the best way to lose my gut?” is taking accountability for your unhealthy, bad eating habits. However, you should remember to mix your accountability with a little support from others. Understanding how to lose your gut takes action and continuous information on losing weight and maintaining your weight loss.
For a free consultation or help with your weight loss struggles, contact us here.