Create a Fat-Burning Diet


 

 

It may sound surprising, but training is the easy part of the fitness equation. Not that all that effort and sweat isn’t challenging. But at most, that takes an hour of your day, maybe a little more. Once that’s done, you have 22 to 23 hours left in your day to manage, including –if you’re doing it correctly –five to seven meals.

 

 

The results you see can be affected in the way you prepare those meals. You need to accomplish three key goals. The first one is to provide your body with the nutrition it needs to run optimally. Second is to give your muscles the building blocks they need to recover. And third is to refuel yourself enough to have the energy to train hard and thrive throughout your day, but not so much as to stock your body’s fat stores.

It’s a tall order, to be sure, but a relatively easy one if you have solid information in hand. Here are a few “rules” to follow as you create your own fat-burning diet:

 

  1. Get Your Protein
  2. Cycle Your Carb Intake
  3. Watch the Fat
  4. Crack Down on Cravings

 

Get Your Protein

You want to aim for a least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. At meals, you’ll look to wholefood sources like meat, milk, eggs and soy. If you are vegan you’ll look to beans, soy, nuts, and quinoa. For snacks and around workouts, you can lean on wholesome protein powders, bars, and yogurt smoothies.

 

 

Cycle Your Carb Intake

Whole grains, fruits and vegetables certainly have their place in a well-rounded diet, but that place is the key: You’ll want to cycle your carb intake by stacking carbs earlier in the day so that they’re burned off before bedtime. For breakfast and lunch, you want to go higher carb. For later meals, you want to go low carb and higher protein. That’s because in the morning, you’re restocking you energy stores and giving your body what it needs to make it through the day. Carbs later in the day, however, may end up getting stored as fat when you sleep –i.e., stay inactive –for six to nine hours. Plan your meals so that you choose whole grains over non-whole options (except after workouts), eat fruit only in the a.m., eat fibrous vegetables freely, and limit, but don’t omit your starch-oriented veggies like white potatoes and corn.

 

Watch the Fat

Limit your fat intake to 0.5 gram per pound of bodyweight per day. Get the majority of your fats from fish like salmon and tuna, as well as avocadoes, walnuts, almonds, olive oil and other excellent sources of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

 

Crack Down on Cravings

You’re well on your way to your dream body, exercising regularly, watching what you eat, and then it hits you: the craving!

Something sugary or carb-y or crunchy –whatever it is, you can’t get it out of your mind. You know giving in will momentarily halt your progress, but the urge to eat it is so strong, you almost don’t care. You try to justify it to yourself. You struggle. You complain. You cave.

Although it’s quite common for women to attribute cravings to various stages of menstrual cycles, experts disagree over the role estrogen and other hormones play. However, one thing is clear: Food cravings can have emotional and physiological triggers.

Insulin is the most profound hormone that has an impact on cravings. And its release can be triggered via stress. Stress produces cortisol, and in an effort to counteract it, the body will produce insulin, which drops blood sugar. What’s the result? Your body demands that you stabilize your blood sugar immediately via eating a high-carbohydrate food.

The best defense against food cravings, experts agree that is, a good offense: Keep your blood sugar stable via eating small meals of whole, natural foods high in protein, healthy fats and fiber every few hours. Also, supplement with a good multivitamin and essential fatty acids, such as the omega-3s found in fish-oil capsules, because the body can’t produce those on its own.

 

The Premise

What you eat and how often you eat may help you to see results faster. Eating regularly throughout the day, revs up the metabolism which encourages you to burn more fat calories. You may even burn several calories when resting.

If you do not eat regularly, your body may feel that it is in a starvation mode, and start storing the food you eat as fat. So in a sense your body will be in preservation mode, making it that much harder to burn calories.

Do not skip your breakfast, even if you don’t like to eat it. Some of the people I have talked to who are overweight say that they hate breakfast, and do not eat in those hours. One woman told me recently she only drinks soda for breakfast.  A well-balanced breakfast is an important meal of the day as it helps to kick-off your metabolism. Combine that with eating throughout the day along with exercise and the weight should just fall off. There may be days you don’t exercise, and you may still burn calories due to how often you eat small well-balanced meals throughout the day.

Only eating breakfast and a large dinner with nothing –to –very little in between; is not great either. This is just the other end of the spectrum of someone who doesn’t eat breakfast. Your body will still behave in the same, if not worse manner as it would if you had skipped the breakfast. Your body will at some point feel deprived, and start storing food as fat.

If you seem overwhelmed as to how to start, try cutting back a little of your potion sizes of what you already eat throughout the day; in that way you won’t feel deprived. Believe it or not…that actually works. You won’t see magnificent results, but you may notice little changes. Try to inculcate more of the wholesome well-balanced meals. For example, if you don’t like to eat during the breakfast hours, try something like yogurt instead of eggs at first; until your body gets used to the idea. Eventually you should start eating more of the healthier foods and less of the other; and it will jump-start the fat-burning process.

You Can Do It! :-)

Eat-That-Easter-Bunny!


Marinated Rabbit

When it comes to Easter, certain foods may come to mind, especially lambs and hams, and sweets like chocolate bunnies. But what about serving up some rrrr-abbit? Now if you have “little girls” at home, you may want to tell them it’s something else…to keep the peace and have a Happy Easter. Lol.

Rabbit…The Other White Meat

Try to be open minded about trying new foods. The amount of food a rabbit eats is minimal when compared to other animals. Now I am pretty sure though without it specified on the packaging that this was a young rabbit. The meat is pinkish in color, tender and fine-grained. Mature rabbit is tougher with a more distinct flavour and great for roasting and such.

Unfortunately, I do not have a “step by step” recipe for it at this time. I used: Kosher salt, coarse black pepper, olive oil, very little white vinegar, natural liquid smoke, plain Greek yogurt, rosemary, garlic, sherry wine and more. I wanted to add something sweet like agave or honey, but since it was going on the grill, I did not want to risk burning it. Besides, I did not add anything spicy, and I almost always offset spicy with sweet. I marinated the rabbit for about 4 hours. The flavors seeped all the way through and it was the most delicious rabbit ever with nonstop compliments. (Like Bison, this was my first time preparing rabbit, and it was absolutely delicious!) It may be possible to find a similar marinade at the store. Maybe you could marinate the rabbit on your lunch break and prepare it when home from work, etc.

Don’t forget: Blot off some of the marinade with a paper towel prior to grilling or searing. The rabbit on the plate below, was grilled for about 25 mins., turning no more than 3-4 times.

What Are The Benefits of Rabbit Meat?

Rrrrrr-abbit meat is well known for its high protein content. It is only 20 percent bone. And believe or not, it taste similar to chicken or hen, not duck as it has its unique flavor. A 3 oz. serving of rabbit meat contains 28 g of protein, more than beef or chicken. Rabbit is also a concentrated source of iron. A serving contains more than 4 mg. If you drink white wine with it (moderation), it will help your body to absorb the iron. Some of us know that vitamin C will do the same, but who wants to drink OJ with rabbit? Rabbit meat provides a wide range of minerals: Copper, zinc, iron, and the B vitamins 2, 6, and 12. The highest levels include 204 mg of phosphorous and 292 mg of potassium. When it comes to the calorie content, it is very low and it is nearly cholesterol free. The sodium content in rabbit is reasonably less too. Rabbit meat, which is a high-protein low fat diet, is not just perfect for weight loss. It also contains anti-oxidant and anti-aging components namely selenium and glutathione. Not only is rabbit healthy….but it is cheap to produce! So go get you some waabbit. ;-)

Exercise


“Why???We Were Just So Comfortable On You”

What’s the effect of regular exercise on sex? For most people, it acts as a mild aphrodisiac. A variety of studies have shown that men and women who keep themselves trim and toned tend to have lustier sex lives, and remain sexually active later in life, compared with people who are relatively inactive. There is an outer limit to this cheerful news, however: Driven, compulsive exercisers actually have lower sex drives than people who understand the meaning of moderation.

 

Women’s Sexual Second Wind

 

Aerobics

The libidinous effects of exercise have been demonstrated in both men and women. Linda DeVillers, Ph.D., an adjunct professor of psychology at Pepperdine University in Los Angeles, was intrigued when she noticed that after a day of swimming or skiing, she felt sexually stirred up. She wondered if other women might experience a similar “sexual second wind” after exercise and polled 8,000 female readers of a fitness magazine to find out. A quarter of these women reported that they, too, felt sexually aroused immediately after working out; only 3 percent said their libidos did not seem up to par.

The long-term effects of exercise were even more pronounced. Almost a third of the women reported they had sex more often after beginning their exercise program, 40 percent said they’d noticed an increase in their ability to be aroused, and 89 percent said exercise had given their sexual self-confidence a boost.

 

Sexual Aerobics for Men

 

Aerobic Exercise

Another study showed similar effects in a group of 78 sedentary middle-aged men. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, rounded up these healthy but inactive men, whose mean age was 48, and put them on a vigorous, nine-month-long exercise program. Although they worked into it gradually, by the sixth month the men were doing sustained aerobic exercise (pushing their hearts up to 75-80 percent of their maximum aerobic capacity) for a full hour at least three times a week. A similar group of 17 middle-aged, sedentary men was on a program of moderate walking for an hour about four times a week. Both groups kept detailed diaries about all sorts of things, including their sex lives, during the first and last months of the program.

After nine months, predictably enough, the men on the no-nonsense exercise program had increased their overall fitness levels by 30 percent. Their frequency of intercourse increased via 30 percent (to three times a week), the frequency of orgasms increased via 26 percent, the frequency of masturbation increased via 50 percent (to roughly once every ten days). At the same time, in both groups, their sexual dissatisfaction or dysfunction (such as trouble achieving or maintaining and erection) noticeably decreased.

Walkers increased their fitness levels via only 3 percent during the study, compared with a 30 percent increase among the more strenuous exercisers. (Obviously, the walkers weren’t breaking any speed records.) Even so, walkers reduced their anxiety as much as the exercisers, and bumped up their levels of good cholesterol, reported more sexual fantasies and more desire for intercourse than before the study started. Walking may not qualify as Olympic-level training, but don’t overlook its mild-mannered benefits.

 

Brisk Walking

 

Exercise, Sex and Aging

 

Weight Training

Studies of a different sort have shown that people who keep themselves in fighting trim also tend to stay sexually active far later in life than walkers. In one small-scale study, a behavioral scientist at Bentley College in Waltham, Massachusetts, looked at the sex lives of 160 Masters Swimmers, one group in their 40’s and another in their 60’s. These people were not just moderately fit, they were super fit, training an average of an hour a day, four or five days a week –a few of them even more.

“The men and women in our study reported sex lives more like those of people in their 20’s and 30’s than those of their contemporaries,” reported Phillip Whitten, Ph.D., and his research associate Elizabeth J. Whiteside. “Not only that, the people in their 60’s reported sex lives comparable to those in their 40’s,” making love an average of about seven times a month.

 

Why Fit Equals Sexy

 

Group Exercise

What, precisely, is the connection between staying fit and staying sexy? Well, there are a few obvious reasons, like enhanced self-esteem. Hey, when you look good….you feel good! And also, you partner feels good about you. Eighty percent of the Masters Swimmers rated themselves as attractive or very attractive, but they were just being humble –their spouses or lovers rated them as even more attractive than what they rated themselves. But there is a physiological explanation as well. Cardiovascular fitness seems to have a direct effect on men’s sexual performance, because attaining and maintaining a serviceable erection requires good circulation. One of the body’s responses to regular exercise is increased blood volume throughout the entire body, including the genitals.

Exercise also has an effect on circulating levels of testosterone –the hormonal trigger of sex in both men and women. Although the physiology is complex and the studies don’t all agree, quite a few have shown that testosterone levels rise after short-term, moderately vigorous exercise. One study showed significantly elevated serum testosterone levels after men ran on a treadmill for 30 minutes –although in women, these levels rose only after 120 minutes of exertion. But remember, some women already have higher levels of testosterone which would mean that for these women it would not take much exertion for their levels to be raised.

 

The Outer Limit

 

Bodybuilders

Like almost everything else, exercise is best if it’s seasoned with reason. If a little jogging is great for your love life, a whole lot of jogging is not necessarily better. It’s well known, for instance, that female athletes who train too ferociously or get too lean develop athletic amenorrhea –in effect, their bodies turn off the menstrual cycle. Their bodies are saying, in essence, “I’m under horrific stress –now is a lousy time to get pregnant!”

Quite a few studies have also shown that continuous, exhausting exercise drives down testosterone levels and takes the steam out of the libido. Rather dramatic declines in testosterone have been shown in male ultra-marathon runners after a 100-mile race, for instance. And one study of fanatical, driven male athletes, who tended to be as obsessed with leanness as anorexics and took up running with an almost religious zeal, found that their marriages were also “often impersonal and asexual.”

So, how much exercise does it take to drive down the testosterone levels –what, in effect, is the outer limit? Well, fortunately, it’s way out there. A researcher at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Ariel Barkan, M.D., has estimated that you would have to run 200 miles a week to seriously disrupt your hormones. By contrast, “there appears to be something magical about running 30 miles per week,” says Jay Schinfeld, M.D., a triathlete who is also chief of endocrinology at the Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. But it is still my humble opinion, despite sport bras, that women who runs too much may end up flat chested in the long run. (The breast consists of mostly fat) You don’t have to exercise that hard to experience the positive effects of exercise on sexuality, but once you start going above it, you increase your risk of injury.

Have You Started Your Fitness Goals Yet?

 

Hot Tea: KUKICHA (茎茶), or twig tea


Woman Drinking Tea

 

Why not step away from the “Ice” Tea for a minute? Kukicha is a Japanese Green tea made from the stems and twigs of the tea plant. Immediately after taking a sip of this warm and flavorful tea, I feel a warm soothing sensation permeating throughout my body. It is as though I can feel it literally melting away the unwanted fat and toxins. There are times I brew this tea with Chinese Green and Oolong, because each tea has its’ own unique components for optimum health benefits. It seems wrong to call this an earthy tea, mainly because isn’t that where all teas come from? However, when drinking this you get a sense of what the actual twigs taste like inside; a little nutty with a hint of sweetness.

 

Benefits of Kukicha tea

Most of the benefits of kukicha tea stem from its alkalizing properties. Prevention of numerous diseases is achieved through alkalization of bodily fluids and tissues and consequent balanced levels of acidity. The diet containing white flour, sugars, dairy products, eggs and meat, raises the body’s acidity and eventually results in fatigue, premature aging, weakened immune system, heart, kidney or bladder conditions, problems with the weight, joints and bones. The body containing too much acid draws minerals from bones and other organs, and stores fat; then your body maybe working overtime to get rid of toxins. Though you do not see it, it may be happening. Then eventually the system gets jammed and that is where problems may set in sometimes regardless of fitness regimens.  In my opinion, there are absolutely nothing wrong with the foods mentioned above when it doesn’t contain hormones and chemicals….and as long as the body is balanced out with other nutritional foods. There has to be a balance, and if you do not eat plenty of veggies you should consider drinking them via tea (V8 juice is processed, reconstituted veggies w/salt) ;-)

Kukicha twig tea is abundant in minerals like copper, selenium, manganese, calcium, zinc and fluoride, A, C and B-complex vitamins and flavonoids, and like green tea, it contains polyphenols catechins, which are famous for their anti-cancer action. The most powerful of these substances is epigallocatechin, which prevents cancer by discouraging the growth of tumors and stops it from spreading within cells. It is also known to promote digestion. Kukicha tea is virtually caffeine free. Moreover it has a high content of tannin which helps clean the body from toxins. Tannin can even free the body from nicotine and radioactivity which is why it is recommended to people who take many medications.

Similarly to green tea, twig tea also regulates the levels of blood sugar, while by lowering high blood pressure, it prevents strokes and heart disease. Being an immunity booster, it helps combat virus-induced colds and flu. Kukicha tea can also promote weight loss slow down the aging process and prevent ulcers. I truly believe this tea has helped me maintain my weight! When brewing twig tea it is important to use hot instead of boiling water. Once boiled water has cooled it is ready for use, then the tea is steeped for three minutes the most. Personally, I often prefer “strong” tea, so I will steep for 5-15 minutes without adding anything else to it.

 

Kukicha Tea Stems

 

A Little Kukicha and Green Tea Trivia:

Green tea is often classified as one of the so-called ‘super foods’ due to its wealth of health-boosting components that may help fight a wide array of ailments and diseases. ‘Super food’ is the term used to describe foods with high antioxidant and phytonutrient content.

Antioxidants in kukicha tea help fight the ravages of free radicals that are seen as the source of many of today’s debilitating diseases. Did you know that aside from the catechins that are so abundant in kukicha tea, there are many other types of antioxidants?

The Japanese have some of the world’s longest life expectancy rates. The Japanese drink tea after nearly every meal, which may contribute to their longevity. People of the Mediterranean love to have red wine after their meals, which is also potent with beneficial antioxidants.  

The quality of the water used to brew the tea is very important. It is believed that the water used must be free of contaminants and contain enough oxygen to enhance the natural flavor of the tea. Teas made with pure water yield a crisp flavor and a clear brew that is aesthetically pleasant.

EGCG or epigallocatechin gallate is the most abundant antioxidant catechin in kukicha tea. It is found in high amounts in this beverage as the kukicha tea leaves undergo very minimal amounts.

Vitamin C is said to help the body absorb more of the antioxidant content of green tea. New studies have shown that taking citrus juices, like those of oranges and lemons, along with green tea enable more of the tea’s antioxidants to remain after the digestion process is completed.

“Hot” Tea is not just great for women, men and children should drink it too for a healthy lifestyle; especially here in the USA where obesity is on the rise. You can start anytime. But remember: some medicines can conflict with certain teas including ibuprofen.

 

Kukicha

 

Blue CRUSH

Fresh Blueberries

Blueberries have been heralded as a remarkably healthy food, in part because they’re exceptionally rich in antioxidants, a category of nutrients that are vital  to our survival. Antioxidants help protect us against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and premature aging. Studies show that blueberries help us have stronger, cleaner arteries; better vision and memory; a healthier weight; fewer urinary tract infections; and less overall risk of heart disease.

Researchers at the USDA have identified pterostilbene (pronounced “tero-STILL-bean”) as a key substance in blueberries that gives them their therapeutic qualities. And it may be the next “big thing” to help keep us in good health.

 

CONTROLLING OXIDATION

Among other things, pterostilbene is an antioxidant that’s particularly effective at combating free radicals-waste molecules in the body that are missing an electron. Antioxidants come from two sources: some are naturally produced in our bodies, and we get others through our DIET. Problems arise if either one of these sources is inadequate.

Traditional antioxidants, such as vitamin C (from diet and supplements) work by donating an electron to a free-radical. But while such nutrients are undoubtedly necessary, they’re only part of the equation. “The new way of reducing oxidation is taking substances that stimulate your body to make antioxidants,” says Kent Holtorf, MD, anti-aging specialist, founder and medical director of the Holtorf Medical Group in California, and a reviewer and quest editor for several medical journals. Remember, blueberries are heavily sprayed with pesticides. In my opinion the best blueberries are the organic variety. I feel they even taste better. I find that many fruits with pesticides have a bitter after kick or taste.

 

Ancient Remedy: Pterostilbene has been an ancient remedy. It has been used for thousands of years in Indian Ayurvedic medicine as a blood tonic.