Eve's Health & Fitness

DOB: October 27 CURRENT RESIDENCE: North Eastern Oklahoma OCCUPATION: Certified Group Fitness Instructor HEIGHT:5'1"; WEIGHT:105 lbs.; BF%:14.3% bodyfat FAVORITE BODY PARTS TO TRAIN: Back, abs FAVORITE CHEAT MEAL: Mexican and any dark chocolate CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Featured as a fitness role model in Chad Tackett's Global-Health & Fitness website: http://www.global-fitness.com/ DESCRIBE MYSELF: Competitive, energetic, persistent, focused, consistent, and driven.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Is "health" Food Making You Fat?


1. Stix vs. Chips
Good Health Veggie Stix Mixed Vegetables - 140 calories, 7 g fat
Glenny's Original Potato Chips - 120 calories, 2 g fat

At First Glance:
Veggie Stix look like puffed carrot and celery sticks. Could they be just as good for you?
On Second Thought: A closer look at the ingredients reveals that these snacks are made from potato flour, not whole vegetables, which actually makes them less nutritious than full-fat potato chips. Eek.
A HEALTHIER BET: Lower-calorie, lower-fat Glenny's Original Potato Chips. Glenny's even provides you with six grams of protein. Crunch on!

2. Carob vs. Chocolate
Goldie's Natural Raisin Almond Carob Bar - 75 calories, 4.5 g fat
Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa Extra Fine Dark Chocolate - 55 calories, 4 g fat

At First Glance:
The carob bar contains no refined sugar or caffeine but does have almonds and raisins.
On Second Thought: Carob itself isn't any healthier than chocolate, which some studies do show may have heart health benefits. Plus, have you tasted carob recently?
A HEALTHIER BET: One square of Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa Extra Fine Dark Chocolate is lower in calories and bigger on satisfaction. Extra Fine stands for "extra indulgent."

3. Fresh vs. Canned
Kettle Cuisine Vegetarian Lentil Soup - 350 calories, 13 g fat
Health Valley Organic Lentil Soup - 100 calories, 1 g fat

At First Glance:
Because it's fresh, the first listed soup must have more nutrients.
On Second Thought: Make that more fat and calories. As for nutrients, the fresh soup has half as much vitamin A and less vitamin C than the canned. Worse, it packs 920 milligrams of sodium per serving. Ouch.
A HEALTHIER BET: Health Valley's Organic Lentil Soup offers more nutrients and just 25 mg sodium per serving.

4. Organic Raspberry Juice vs. O.J.
Mountain Sun Organic Mountain Raspberry Juice - 130 calories, 0 g fat
Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice - 110 calories, 0 g fat

At First Glance:
Raspberries contain more fiber than oranges, so the juice listed first must be better for you.
On Second Thought:
Raspberries may be high in fiber, but their juice isn't. What's left after you remove the seeds is almost pure sugar-almost 29 grams of the sweet stuff per eight-ounce glass. (Even Coca-Cola has fewer calories and less sugar per serving.) Worse, this juice doesn't contain enough vitamins or minerals to merit mention. An inspection of the ingredients yields an explanation: This is really just apple juice with a little raspberry puree added. Although apple juice is certainly a better choice than soda, it's not a nutritional superstar by any stretch.
A HEALTHIER BET: One hundred percent orange juice is by far the most nutrient-packed fruit juice you can buy, especially if it has added calcium.

5. Toaster Pastries vs. Strawberries
Amy's Organic Strawberry Toaster Pastries - 140 calories, 2.5 g fat
Strawberries - 25 calories, 0 g fat

At First Glance:
The pastries listed first seem like a good-for-the-planet breakfast on the run.
On Second Thought:With fewer calories, fat and sugar than Pop-Tarts. Amy's looks positively virtuous. But don't be fooled. The key word on the label is pastry, which is a dessert, not a breakfast. With little fiber to speak of, these pastries won't do much to fill you up. It may be an environmentally sound purchase, but there are better things you could be eating for your first meal of the day.
A HEALTHIER BET: Half a cup of sliced strawberries (25 calories, 0 g fat, 5 sugar) and a slice of whole-grain toast--such as Pepperidge Farm Crunch Grains bread (90 calories, 3 g fiber, 2 g sugar)--will give you a more energizing morning send-off.

6. Organic Pasta & Cheese vs. Frozen
Annie's Organic Shells and Real Aged Wisconsin Cheddar - 360 calories, 5 g fat
Lean Cuisine Macaroni & Cheese - 290 calories, 7 g fat

At First Glance:
The boxed mac 'n' cheese may have more calories, but it's lower in fat. Besides, it's organic!
On Second Thought: There are three servings in a box of Annie's. Finish the box (and really, who doesn't?) and your total calorie damage is a frightening 1,080 calories and 39 grams of fat. Fast food would be healthier.
A HEALTHIER BET: Lean Cuisine Macaroni & Cheese.
The controlled portion size means you'll stop eating at a respectable 290 calories and 7 g fat.

7. Chocolate vs. Fruit-Sweetened Soy
Soy Delicious Chocolate Obsession Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert - 210 calories, 9 g fat
Soy Delicious Fruit Sweetened Frozen Dessert - 160 calories, 6 g fat

At First Glance:
The product listed first seems to have everything going for it: the healthfulness of soy plus the undeniable delectability of chocolate.
On Second Thought:
At 210 calories and nine grams of fat per serving the chocolate soy is worse for your waist-line than some ice creams. And this dessert contains just 2 g soy protein-not enough to provide much benefit. (A product must contain 6.25 g soy protein in order to legally claim it can reduce the risk of heart disease.)
A HEALTHIER BET: Soy milk (10 g soy protein per eight-ounce serving) or edamame (6.5 g soy protein per three-ounce serving) will give you a more substantial health benefit. As for satisfying your sweet tooth, Soy Delicious's Fruit Sweetened Frozen Dessert won't break your calorie and fat budget but will give more vitamin C, Iron and calcium than the traditionally sweetened variety.



Tuesday, July 19, 2005

11 HABITS of Highly Successful Exercisers

Have a clear image of your ideal body--not Heidi Klum's--in your head.
Your Strategy:
First, decide what your goal is--to firm up your butt or lose 10 pounds--then visualize how your body will look if you're successful. Keep that image in your head when you're working out, are tempted to skip and exercise session or are just feeling frustrated. If you're trying to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight or fit into a favorite dress from two years ago, tape a photo of yourself from that time on your mirror, computer or refrigerator. The picture--whether it's just in your head or staring you in the face--will be a type of contract, keeping you driven to reach your goals.

Focus on improving your cardiovascular fitness instead of dropping pounds.
Your Strategy:
As a baseline, you should be able to walk two to three miles at a pace of 15 to 20 minutes per mile three or four times a week. Better yet, aim for four or five 45-minute sessions of aerobic exercise and two or three strength workouts. If you're just starting out, do as much exercise as you can (even if it's only 10 minutes) three days a week, and build up gradually from there.

Plan out most of the details of your work-outs beforehand.
Your Strategy:
Be precise when scheduling your workouts. For example, instead of jotting down "work out" on Monday, list "power yoga class," "45-minute walk on the treadmill @ 4 mph" or "30-minute upper-body weight workout."

Have a balanced snack an hour or two before working out.
Your Strategy:
A proper pre-workout mini meal contains 150 to 250 calories from both carbs and protein. Noshing on one of the following two hours prior to exercise: half an apple with a tablespoon o peanut butter, a half cup of trail mix, or crackers with low-fat cheese.

Strap on a heart-rate monitor for your cardio sessions.
Your Strategy:
Try this exercise to track your heart rate: Grab a monitor and get on a treadmill or bicycle. Warm up for five minutes and check your heart rate. This is your base number. Now, increase your intensity to a level where you feel challenged but comfortable and sustain it for 20 to 30 minutes. Cool down by walking or biking @ a slow pace, and watch how long it takes to bring your heart rate back to that base number. "Your goal through progressive workouts is to drop your heart rate faster, ideally within two minutes." The faster you recover, the fitter you are. A good monitor to try: Polar's M21 ($150) not only calculates heart rate and calories burned but also sends you an exercise reminder. To order, log on to polarusa.com or call 800-227-1314.

Have an arsenal of strengthening moves for each body part.
Your Strategy:
To do a better job of sculpting your triceps (the backs of your upper arms), for example, complete 10-12 reps of each of these three moves back-to-back: dumbbell kickbacks, triceps pressdowns and triceps extensions (also called skull crushers). Rest for 30 seconds; repeat 2-3 times.

Contract your abs periodically throughout the day.
Your Strategy:
Don't just think of your abs as something you train in the gym. Whether you're standing in line at the grocery store, sitting at your desk or driving your car, do this move to work your middle muscles: Exhale and pull in your belly button as if you were trying to zip up a tight pair of jeans. Continue to breathe normally; hold for 15-30 seconds and release. Repeat five to 10 times.

Increase the intensity of your workouts across the board.
Your Strategy:
You can turn up the intensity meter either by gradually increasing the speed or workload of your normal workout--especially if your typical aerobic session could best be described as leisurely--or by doing intervals. If you run, try hoofing it a little faster. Boosting your speed by just one mile an hour will significantly up your calorie burn. If you run @ 5 mph for 30 minutes, for example, you'll burn 260 calories. Spend the same amount of time @ 6 mph (a 10-minute-mile pace) and you'll burn 325 calories. It may take a couple of weeks to build up to it, but your body will notice the difference. (Calorie counts are for a 135-pound woman.)

Ban the word routine from your workout vocabulary.
Your Strategy:
Instead of plodding through the same three-mile jog four days a week, do a different "run" every day. Try this program (you'll burn more calories a week while giving your lower body a sculpting workout as well): Day 1: Run three miles @ your normal pace. Day 2: Do intervals of three minutes of faster running mixed with one minute of slow jogging. Day 3: Find a series of gentle hills (or use the incline button on the treadmill) and jog three miles. Day 4: Alternate intervals of one-minute sprints on an incline with one minute of walking in between.

Make friends with the trainers at the gym.
Your Strategy:
To break the ice, approach a trainer in between clients. Simply introduce yourself. Ask for her/his opinion about something--new equipment, classes or even what type of sneakers she/he recommends. Show respect for her/his time and advice and I'll guarantee she/he will remember you. Once you establish a relationship, you can ask her/him to double-check your squat form, tweak your triceps extension or suggest a new cardio workout.

Think of exercise as a reward all by itself.
Your Strategy:
The next time you meet a tough work deadline, negotiate a truce with your boyfriend/girlfriend or defuse a family conflict, make your run or indoor cycling class your reward. Congratulate yourself with exercise. "That feeling can take you a long way--even back to the gym day after day."

Put your strategies to work!

Eve :-)

Monday, July 18, 2005

Why Overeating When You're Stressed is Bad for Your Heart

We all know that mental strain can spell weight gain-just think of how many times you've reached for a pint of Häagen-Dazs when life got a little too hard. Now a study suggests that overeating triggered by stress sends extra pounds straight to your belly--with potentially damaging consequences for your heart.
Researchers at Yale University assembled 59 premenopausal women with varying shapes; some were "apples," with more fat around their waists, while others were "pears," carrying more weight in their hips. They then put the women through nerve-racking tests, such as subtracting large prime numbers and convincing a mock committee that each was the best applicant for a job. They also measured the women's levels of the stress hormone cortisol. It turns out the apple-shaped women secreted more cortisol, did worse on the tests, and reported more day-to-day stress than did the pears.
Study leader Elissa Epel, a psychologist now at the University of California at San Francisco, believes there is a direct relationship between the way these women respond to pressure and their apple shapes. So-called visceral fat is located deep within the torso, packed around the organs; the surfaces of its cells have more receptors for cortisol than do other kinds of fat. When cortisol meets these cells, it can activate an enzyme that causes them to get bigger.
This isn't just a problem when it comes to buying pants. Plumped-up visceral fat cells are more likely to release fat into the bloodstream, where it can clog arteries, hike up triglycerides, and raise bad cholesterol.
To lessen your chances of a dangerous bulge, Epel suggests meditation, exercise, and plenty of sleep. "You can't prevent stressful events," she says. "But you can control how you cope with them."

Elizabeth Berg; Women's Health Wisdom 2002

Eve :-)

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Ultimate Upper Body

3 multimuscle moves to chisel your back and shoulders.

For better definition and beautiful posture, do multimuscle exercises that involve pulling motions to boost strength and stability in your upper back and shoulders.

These moves from trainer Jessica Perry zero in on your upper-back and shoulder muscles. Many everyday activities pull your upper body forward; these exercises help draw it back, increasing both muscle strength and endurance. You'll start with a modified pull-up on a Smith machine, which involves lifting your body weight against gravity. Next, the one-arm reverse cable fly will require you to stabilize your torso as you work each arm individually. By then, your muscles will be pre-fatigued, so you'll get deep into your upper back with the bent-over one-arm wide row.

The main upper-back muscles are the trape- zius, rhomboids and levator scapulae. The trapezius attaches to the base of the skull, midback vertebrae and collarbone. The upper part is involved in overhead pushing actions. The middle part, along with the rhomboids, draws your shoulder blades back and down. The lower part pulls your shoulder blades down and helps draw your arms back toward your body. The levator scapulae, which attaches at the top of the cervical spine and inserts on the top edge of the scapula, helps lift your shoulders. The deltoids comprise three heads that have different origins but insert on your upper arm. The anterior head helps raise your arm up and forward, and rotates it in. The posterior head moves your arm to the rear and rotates it out. The lateral head lifts your arm to the side and assists the other heads in their movements. Your rotator-cuff muscles -- the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis -- stabilize the shoulder joint.

You'll need a Smith machine or a secure pull-up bar, a cable-pulley machine with a single-handle attachment, a set of 5- to 15-pound dumbbells and a flat bench. Warm up with 5 minutes of cardio on a rowing machine or dual-action elliptical trainer. Cool down by stretching your shoulders and back muscles, holding each stretch for at least 30 seconds without bouncing.

By Stacy Whitman
Ketchum, Idaho-based freelance writer Stacy Whitman hits the weight room twice a week to build upper-body strength for skate skiing, her new favorite winter sport.

Eve :-)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Effective Exercise Tips

I highly recommend that you do some form of exercise each week. It's a good habit that will delay the effects of aging, reduces stress and burns calories. Most exercises fall into two categories, Cardiovascular (cardio) and Resistance Training (weight training). You should include both in your weekly exercise program, as each contributes to your overall success in different ways.

If done properly, cardio is a great way to burn stored body fat. To burn stored body fat you will need to do all of the following. Using the same muscle group, maintain an elevated heart rate at about 70-75% of your maximum for at least 30-60 minutes.

All exercise burns calories, but the statement above will help you burn stored body fat. Using your legs is the best "same muscle group" because these are your largest muscles and it's easy to keep your heart rate elevated for a long duration. Some good exercises are: running, walking at a fast pace, treadmills, and stationary bikes.

It is very important to realize that your body is primarily burning sugar (glycogen) that is stored in the muscles and liver during the first 12-15 minutes of your cardio exercise. Only after this initial period does your body begin to burn fat IF you keep your heart rate elevated to about 70-75% of your maximum.

To maximize the fat burning process focus on the amount of time after the initial 15 minutes and do not drink or eat anything that contains carbohydrates (sugar) prior to or during your cardiovascular workout. Eating a balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat every three hours is a great way to help stabilize your blood sugar levels. Just time it properly so that you exercise a couple of hours after eating a meal.

A carbohydrate drink is sure to have a greater impact on your blood sugar levels than combining a balance of all three macronutrients. Remember, Insulin retards the fat burning process and encourages fat storage. This is why you should be doing everything you can to help you stabilize your blood sugar levels. Do your best to eat some carbohyrates, protein, and fat every three hours. By fueling your body in this manner you will also stay satisfied between meals.

Weight training is a great way to strengthen muscles, tone your body and increase your metabolic rate. Unless you spend the whole day exercising, your basal (resting) metabolic rate will always require more calories than your daily activity. Increasing your metabolic rate is the best way to burn more calories and should be a goal for everyone.

I realize that changing your eating habits can be a difficult decision, but you can make it easy, fun and you will NOT be hungry. All you have to do is do your best.

Eve :-)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Plant It on Your Plate

Plant-based foods may help you rein in high cholesterol. Although a diet that is low in fat and saturated fat may help lower both total and LDL cholesterol, a new study suggests you could do more. Eating a variety of veggies, whole grains, and legumes appears to make the usual low-fat, cholesterol-control diet even more effective.

A low-fat diet is a good first step toward lowering high levels of total and LDL cholesterol. In a recent study, researchers placed 120 men and women between 30 and 65 years of age with LDL cholesterol levels of 130 to 190 mg/dL on either a traditional low-fat diet or one that included plant-based foods such as vegetables, whole grains, and legumes for 4 weeks. Participants in both groups experienced drops in LDL and total cholesterol, but those on the low-fat, plant-based diet experienced greater reductions. Plant sterol compounds in the plant-based foods may be responsible for the effect. Regular, moderately intense exercise can help lower cholesterol further. Sneak more vegetables and legumes into your diet by stuffing heaps of leafy green lettuce and tomato into sandwiches, adding frozen broccoli and white beans to marinara sauce, topping salads with garbanzo beans, adding frozen vegetables to pizzas and soups, and keeping chopped vegetables on hand at all times for snacking.

The effect of a plant-based diet on plasma lipids in hypercholesterolemic adults: a randomized trial. Gardner, C. D., Coulston, A., Chatterjee, L., Rigby, A., Spiller, G., Farquhar, J. W., Annals of Internal Medicine 2005 May 3;142(9):725-733.


Friday, July 01, 2005

Sweet on Antioxidants

Reach for a certain sweet dried fruit for some extra antioxidants.

Dried figs are high in polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that help keep your heart and blood vessels healthy. Eating just 5 or 6 dried figs per day helps you meet your daily fiber and fruit requirements while satisfying your sweet tooth naturally.

Figs are rich in polyphenol antioxidants, which can inhibit LDL oxidation, an initial step in forming artery-clogging plaques. In a recent study, researchers gave fasting participants 40 grams of figs (about one-quarter cup) with or without a sugar-sweetened soda. Researchers discovered that consuming figs raised participants' blood levels of antioxidants for four hours after eating the fruit. Moreover, antioxidants in the figs counteracted the oxidative stress produced by the sugar-laden soft drinks. Figs contain fiber, B complex vitamins, magnesium, and other nutrients. Add chopped figs to sweet potato and squash dishes, oatmeal, and green salads for a sweet surprise. RealAge Benefit: Getting the right amount of antioxidants through diet or supplements can make your RealAge 6 years younger.

Dried fruits: excellent in vitro and in vivo antioxidants. Vinson, J. A., Zubik, L., Bose, P., Samman, N., Proch, J., Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2005 Feb;24(1):44-50.

Eve :-)

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