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Friday Fitness Tips: 5 Ways to Reduce Body Fat

Got body fat? Here are 5 simple and effective ways for you to shed that unwanted body fat. While fat loss can be quite frustrating, these 5 strategies are proven to help you slim down quickly!

1. Drink a Gallon of Water
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Water is always a crucial element for proper bodily functions, and even more so when fat loss is your goal. The conversion of fat into energy takes place in your liver, and this process requires that you be well hydrated.

Drinking a gallon of water over the course of your day is a wonderful goal to aim for. This goal is easily met when you get into the habit of sipping water throughout the day, coupled with drinking a full glass before meals, upon waking and before bed.

2. Do a Variety of Aerobics

IMG_2424.JPGVariety is key when it comes to the aerobics side of your routine. Getting in calorie-burning activities is crucial to quickly eliminating fat stores. We no longer believe that long cardio sessions are the holy grail of fat loss – but getting your body moving with calorie-burning activities is a wonderful way to intensify your fat loss results.

The great thing about aerobic activities is that these can and should be fun! Hiking, biking, swimming, surfing, jogging, brisk walking – any activity that requires you to move your body for a decent duration of time and break a nice sweat in the process.

3. Cut out Processed Foods

IMG_2428.JPGThis is one of the easiest ways to quickly and effectively reduce body fat, and yet it is met with such resistance. Why? Why is it so difficult for us to give up our packaged, processed snacks and treats? This is one obstacle that prevents most people from achieving the body that they want.

The best tip for successfully getting processed junk food out of your life is to have wholesome alternatives on hand while removing the junk food from your home. If you are a late night snacker, then be prepared by having fresh fruit, sliced veggies, or other wholesome snack replacements on hand. When your belly is full of wholesome snacks, it’s hard to care too much about the processed junk food you missed out on. And soon you’ll learn to love how lean and energetic these healthier foods make you feel. So, cut out the packaged, high carb and high sugar items from your diet and start burning fat!

4. Lift Weights

IMG_2425.JPGYou might consider this to be pretty obvious, but many people are still resistant to the idea that resistance training leads to fat loss. If you find yourself puzzled by the idea that lifting heavy things will reduce the layer of fat on your body, then allow me to explain.

The act of lifting weights causes those targeted muscles to stimulate new muscle tissue growth. Now this doesn’t mean that your muscles are going to get noticeably larger (relax, ladies!) but it does mean that your muscle tissue will become tighter and more toned. The increase in muscle translates to a higher metabolism, which means that your body will naturally burn fat faster and more efficiently.

5. Use High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

IMG_2427.JPGHIIT is a method that has been quite popular in the past decade – and for good reason. This advanced form of aerobics, when done correctly, is one of the most effective methods for burning fat.

HIIT is achieved by performing short, intense burst of aerobic intervals between less intense bouts of aerobics. For example, 2 minutes of walking followed by a 30 second sprint, done for 20 minutes.

Don’t hide your muscle underneath layers of body fat. Get rid of the fat and keep it off!

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47 Bikini Competition Bag Essentials (to take Backstage and to the Contest)

Originally posted on GETFOXFIT | IFBB Bikini Fitness Athlete & Kidney Cancer Survivor Lisanne Vos & IFBB Bodybuilder Maarten Vos:

47 Bikini Competition Bag Essentials (www.getfoxfit.com)

With the Enercup competition just around the corner I thought it was high time to get cracking on the backstage bag list.

Esentials that you need for the competition and throughout the day.

Since we will be backstage for the most part, it’s important to try and have everything you need with you – also saves stress.

So, I have compiled a list below.

Have I missed anything?

Happy to hear your thoughts and comments in the box below :)

  1. Zip lock bags (to put your things in – like your bikini, jewellery, make up etc.  Since they are see-through you can easily find things.)
  2. Bikini
  3. Extra bikini (if you have that)
  4. Posing heels
  5. Extra posing heels (if you have them)
  6. Anti-slip pads for heels
  7. Black robe
  8. Black sweatpants, t-shirt / vest, hoodie
  9. Change of clothes (if you are going out after the show)
  10. Competition jewellery
  11. Make-up
  12. False eyelashes and glue
  13. League / competition…

View original 126 more words

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Breast Health: Do You Know How Dense Your Breasts Are?

Do You Know How Dense Your Breasts Are?
No, it doesn’t mean how heavy or firm your girls are. Breast density actually has to do with the tissue in your breasts and how that shows up on a mammogram.

IMG_2397.JPG Breast Density

Breast density is a way to describe the makeup of a woman’s breasts. Dense breasts contain more breast tissue than fatty tissue. Women who have dense breasts have an increased risk of breast cancer. Younger women tend to have dense breasts. As women get older, their breasts become less dense. Dense breast tissue can look white or light gray on a mammogram. Cancer can also look white or light gray. Because of this, dense tissue can “mask” or “hide” a cancer from view on a mammogram. The questions below can help you gather information about breast density so that you can make the right choices for you.

How do I know if I have dense breasts?

Breast density can only be determined by mammograms. It is not related to breast size or firmness. You may think that because your breasts are firm, they are dense; but breast density is not determined by how your breasts feel.

When the radiologist looks at your mammogram, they determine your breast density. There are four categories of breast density. They go from almost all fatty tissue to extremely dense and very little fatty tissue. The radiologist decides which of the four categories (below) best describes your level of breast density.

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What should I do if I have dense breast tissue?

If your mammogram report says that you have dense breast tissue, talk with your doctor about what this means for you. Be sure that your doctor knows your medical history and whether there is anything in your history that increases your risk for developing breast cancer.

Currently, experts do not agree what other tests, if any, should be done in addition to mammograms in women with dense breasts. My recommendation is that women speak to their doctors. Ask if your breast tissue is considered dense, and if so, would you benefit from additional testing such as: 3D mammogram (digital tomosynthesis), breast ultrasound, breast MRI.

Women who are already in a high-risk group (based on gene mutations, a strong family history of breast cancer, or other factors) should have an MRI along with their yearly mammogram.

Why is breast density important?

Having dense breast tissue may increase your risk of getting breast cancer. Women who have dense breast tissue (3 or 4) have a higher risk of breast cancer compared to women with less dense breast tissue (1 or 2).

Many states, including California, New York, North Carolina, and Virginia now have laws that require radiologists to contact a woman if her breasts are dense. Where does your state stand?

Be informed about your breast density! Learn more at: cancer.org

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Meatless Monday: Spicy Spaghetti Squash with Black Beans

This is not your typical spaghetti squash recipe. Rather than using the squash as a mere substitute for pasta with red sauce, this recipe combines strands of spaghetti squash with Southwestern-inspired ingredients such as black beans, lime juice, and roasted corn. This naturally gluten-free vegan recipe makes a tasty light meal for a weeknight supper. It also works as a flavorful side dish.

Spicy Spaghetti Squash with Black Beans
Serves: 2

Ingredients:
* 1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
* 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/2 cup of red onion, chopped
* 3 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
* 1/2 cup of red bell pepper, chopped
* 1 Tbs. ground cumin
* 1 Tbs. Mexican oregano
* 1 Tbs. chili powder
* 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
* 1 cup sweet corn, frozen or fresh
* Salt and freshly ground pepper
* 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
* 1 lime
* 1 cup shredded (nondairy) cheddar cheese

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Arrange squash in a large baking dish, cut-sides down. Pour 1/2 cup water into the dish and bake until just tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Using a fork, scrape up the flesh, making the “spaghetti” (leave the shell intact for stuffing).IMG_2389.JPG
For the filling, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, jalapeño and bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes or until soft. Add beans, corn and chili powder; cook, stirring frequently, 1 minute longer. Add cooked squash, cilantro, lime juice and salt, cook 1 minute until heated through.

Stuff each squash half with the mixture and top with shredded (nondairy) cheddar cheese.

Switch oven to broil. Stick it back under the broiler until the cheese melts and gets brown and bubbly.

Remove from the beginning oven, garnish with cilantro and enjoy!IMG_2386.JPG

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Vitamin B12…Do You Get Enough?

Are you feeling sluggish or having a difficult time exercising for long periods of time? Are you bruising more easily? Do you have vitamin B12 deficiency?

IMG_2385.JPGAlthough the human body does store vitamin B12, it is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies that I diagnose and treat.

Vitamin B12 (or B12), also called cobalamin, is a water soluble vitamin with a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for the formation of blood. It is normally involved in the metabolism of every cell of the human body, especially affecting DNA synthesis and regulation, but also fatty acid synthesis and energy production.

B12 is produced in the gut of animals, making it the only vitamin you cannot get from plants of sunlight. It can be found in foods such as meat, fish, and dairy products.

Causes of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency can happen if you have certain conditions, such as:

1. Atrophic gastritis (a condition in which your stomach lining has thinned)

2. Pernicious anemia, which makes it hard for your body to absorb vitamin B12

3. Surgery that removed part of your stomach or small intestine, including weight loss surgery

4. Conditions affecting the small intestine, such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, bacterial overgrowth.

5. Heavy drinking

6. Immune system disorders (Graves’ disease or lupus, etc.)

7. Long-term use of acid-reducing medications (Nexium, Prilosec, Zantac, etc) or Long-term use of diabetes medication, Metformin.

8. You can also get vitamin B12 deficiency if you’re a vegan (meaning you don’t eat any animal products, including meat, milk, cheese, and eggs) or a vegetarian who doesn’t eat enough eggs or dairy products to meet your vitamin B12 needs.

Treatment Options

Since a deficiency of vitamin B12 can lead to vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, depression, and problems with your memory, it is important to treat it.

There are two non-prescription vitamin B12 supplements I recommend for my patients:

1. KIND Organics Vitamin B12 Spray (by Garden of Life)

IMG_2382.PNGKIND Organics from Garden of Life® offers a full range of Certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project verified supplements made only from real food—over 30 fruits, vegetables and herbs. Absolutely free of synthetic binders and fillers, meaningful amounts of vitamins and minerals are carefully combined to benefit specific dietary needs.

2. Vitamin Code RAW Vitamin B12

IMG_2381.JPG Garden of Life®’s RAW B-12 is a comprehensive, whole-food vitamin B12 formula made with RAW Food-Created Nutrients™

However, you can also get shots of vitamin B-12 for the treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency.

So if you’re experiencing fatigue, weakness, and a decline in your memory, you may be deficient in Vitamin B12. Talk to your healthcare provider and have your vitamin B12 level checked.

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Wellness Wednesday: 6 Ways to Reduce Mammogram Discomfort

Breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer in women. The key to beating breast cancer is early detection. Women should perform monthly self breast examinations, have regular clinical breast examination by a trained medical professional, and schedule a yearly mammogram (beginning at age 40). Numerous studies prove that early detection is a vital component in the successful treatment of breast cancer.

Mammograms play a central part in early detection because they can detect changes in the breast that may be early signs of cancer, but are too small or subtle to be felt.

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OK, so maybe a mammogram isn’t your idea of fun. No procedure that involves flattening your breasts between two plastic plates could ever be described as enjoyable.

But consider the lifesaving potential of this test: A mammogram can detect breast cancer years before you’d ever feel a lump. And when detected early, before it has a chance to spread, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is about 98 percent.

While mammograms can be uncomfortable, you can take the edge off with these steps:

1. Schedule your mammogram for a few days after your period has ended, when breasts are less tender. Avoid the week before your period.

2. Ask your physician if it’s OK to take a pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen an hour before your mammogram.

3. Avoid caffeine for two days before your test. Caffeine can increase breast tenderness.

4. Tell your healthcare provider if you have breast implants. Special care is needed when compressing breast implants to ensure they don’t rupture. The breasts must also be positioned and analyzed differently.

5. Ask your X-ray technician about thin foam pads (MammoPad Breast Cushions) that can be placed between your breast and the mammography machine to lessen pain. Studies show the pads don’t interfere with imaging and can greatly reduce discomfort, allowing the X-ray technician to compress breasts more (without increased discomfort) to get better images.

6. Dress to undress. Mammograms require that you strip down to the waist, so wearing a two-piece outfit may help you feel less exposed.

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Don’t let fear of discomfort keep you from getting a mammogram. Remember, just a few seconds of grin-and-bear-it could save your life.

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Meatless Monday: Crispy Orange Cauliflower

This recipe for Crispy Orange Cauliflower is a vegetarian’s solution to Orange Chicken. It has a sweet sauce flavored with freshly squeezed orange juice…and it’s gluten-free! If you love the taste of Orange Chicken, you’re going to love this dish. If you close your eyes when you take a bite into the crispy orange cauliflower it will almost seem like you’re eating chicken.

Crispy Orange Cauliflower
Gluten-free, egg-free, and dairy-free
Serves 2

INGREDIENTS
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into small florets (or you can use pre-packaged of cauliflower florets)

For Flour Mixture:
1 Tbsp. flaxseed meal + 2 Tb water, allow to sit until thickens
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup corn starch
1/4 cup King Arthur’s Gluten-free Baking Mix
1 tsp oil

Instructions:
1. Blend all ingredients together until a nice batter is formed (shouldn’t be too thick: think waffle batter consistency).

2. Meanwhile, heat up a skillet with 1/2 cup oil on medium/high heat. Make sure it has been properly heated.

3. Dip each small floret into the batter and make sure each piece is entirely covered.

4. Fry in oil until completely browned.

5. Allow to drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

(For Orange Sauce)

2 Tbsp. oil
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and zested
6 green onions, thinly sliced
zest of 1 orange + juice of orange
2 Tbsp. gluten-free soy sauce
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar

Instructions:
1. In a clean skillet, heat oil and garlic for 1 minute.

2. Add green onions, zest and juice. Cook another 1 minute.

3. Add soy sauce and vinegar and bring to a boil. Toss in crispy cauliflower into the skillet and coat thoroughly. Keep on the pan briefly.

4. Place on top of rice.

Sweet Orange Sauce for serving:
1/4 c. orange juice
1 tsp corn starch
1 tsp brown sugar

1. In that same skillet, throw in the remainder ingredients and bring to a boil for just 1 minute, stirring constantly.

2. Drizzle over orange cauliflower and rice.

3. Garnish with green scallions, orange zest, and sesame seeds.

Recipe inspired by Vegan Richa