Top Strategies to Get Rid of Your Love Handles and Muffin Top

Vanessa Seemore

Vanessa Seemore; Photo by: Ivaylo Georgiev

The body is something like a diamond, which we have the opportunity to varnish. Every choice we make about what we eat, how we move and how much we do it, to have a rest or not, what is the environment we live in, have an influence over our body. The body is something like a receiver to all signals from our environment. When the outer stimulus have a bigger frequency ( i.e. it happens regularly), besides receiving the information, the body starts reflecting it. This reflection is what our appearance is and what our health status is.

We want to achieve a particular level of fitness and we rush to follow the first diet that pops up in the google search and the first training program, that we’ve found in a magazine. We don’t ask ourselves if the stimulus we are gonna exert upon our body is the one that will provoke it to respond in a way that will satisfy us – i.e. by shaping strong and sexy legs and butt, defined arms and flat tummy.

Every woman, no matter how beautiful she is, always finds her own offsets. We, women, always have something that we want to change and it is exactly this desire that pushes us towards one diet or another.

I am not a fan of the methods for spot reduction of body fat, with a particular exercise. You have no idea, how often I hear comments like: “ I don’t wanna do this exercise for my lower body, because my problematic zone is my belly. Let’s focus there.”

Actually, the body doesn’t function independently. The body is not supposed to be divided in parts, it is one whole. That’s why you won’t hear me say how you should train just for your problematic zones.

Still, in this post I will emphasize on the main problem zones in women – arms and triceps ( in other words bat wings), love handles, abs, butt and breeches.

I will explain you what are the key points you should address and what are the winning strategies in order to cope with this problematic zones.

1.Love handles and abs

Image source: www.lovehandles.com

Image source: www.lovehandles.com

You have no idea, how many women and even men,  waste their time to do hundreds of sit –ups and side bents, thinking that the more reps they complete, the faster they will get rid of the unnecessary fat in this spot.

I’ve said it before, but workouts are for performance and diet is for weight loss.

The truth is that the best way to achieve the flat tummy and the abs you want is by starting to eat healthy and enough ( neither too scarce, nor too much).

When we talk about abs, the key factor is what we eat.

It doesn’t matter how many sit –ups you will do, when you eat a package of “healthy biscuits” after the workout. It doesn’t matter how many side bents you make, when you drink diet coke or another diet beverage.

Start eating healthy and nutritious, not low- calorie!

Image source: http://www.heywhatsfordinnermom.com/2013/02/sausage-crust-quiche-paleo-quiche.html

Image source: http://www.heywhatsfordinnermom.com/2013/02/sausage-crust-quiche-paleo-quiche.html

What does fat accumulation around the waste indicates about your hormones?

Besides that, the places where we gain fat are indication about what is going on inside the body. Do not forget that the body is like a book and everything we see on the surface, speaks about what is going on inside of the body.

Gaining fat around the waist is an indication about higher insulin and cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone. The reason behind stress might be many. One of them is our busy, daily schedule, the lack of sleep or sleep in inadequate times.  Higher cortisol levels, might e caused by exhaustion that is tied to too much training or inadequate calorie intake. Everything that we do against our body, causes some type of stress. Chronic stress, leads to chronically elevated cortisol levels, which is reflected on our appearance as fat around the waste.

Besides that elevated cortisol levels, might be due to food intolerances, which cause inflammation and cause stress. Read HERE about the Bible of food intolerances.

Insulin! As you know it increases when we eat and especially when we eat carbs. No wonder that so many people have excess fat on their waste. Just think about the way we eat. Every time when I see a woman who seems thin, but has belly fat and love handles, I know that her diet is full of carbs.

That’s why you should think twice if you are not eating too much grains, sweets, candy, bread, soda and fruits.

Maybe your “healthy” fruit diet is the reason that you can’t get rid of your belly fat.

Supplements that you might take, in order to decrease stress in your body are – vitamin B, vitamin C, rhodiola. Cinnamon can help to regulate insulin levels.

When it comes to exercises, it is better to choose a workout for your whole body. Train with basic, compound movements, increase the intensity and don’t train more than 45-60minutes.

HERE you can find exercises for your abs. But no matter how strong are your abs, if your nutrition is not good, your muscles will be covered in fat and the definition you want to have will be a mirage.

2.Butt and breeches

Ok! I decided that in this case it is better to show you inspiration. The wonderful MICHELLE LEWIN.

Ok! I decided that in this case it is better to show you inspiration. The wonderful MICHELLE LEWIN.

Here, I won’t repeat what I wrote about food. It is a key factor here, as well.

Here, I will accept that you are eating good and your goal is to have tighter and stronger, well- shaped butt.

A lot of women train. They say that they do squats, lunges, Bg- squats, and still there is no effect on their butt and legs.

They come to me, in the gym, and when I ask them to show me how they perform the exercises, their technique is pretty bad. Actually, they train, they waste time and efforts, but they don’t perform the exercises properly.

It is really important to perform the exercises with full range of motion and proper technique in order to load your muscles. In most cases, bad technique leads to a state where we stress our ligaments and joints. We force them to bare the load, and our muscles don’t do their work.

That’s why you need to master the proper technique of all exercises. If you can’t do it by yourself, find somebody who knows what he is doing and let him teach you. Invest some time to master the technique and later on you can continue on your own.

The exercises that will help you shape your butt and legs are:

-Deadlift

-Squat

-Bulgarian Squats and Bulgarian Squats from deficit

-Pistol Squats

-Hip Thrusters

-Swiss Ball Roll Out

-Glute Ham Rise

-Good Morning

-Lunges and Lunges from deficit

Read this post, where I wrote how to shape your booty, without increasing the volume of your legs ( HERE).

Bulgarian Squats are my favorite ( not because I am a Bulgarian)

Bulgarian Squats are my favorite ( not because I am a Bulgarian)

What does fat accumulation around the hips and thighs indicates about your hormones?

Gaining fat in the hips and thighs is once again an indication for hormonal imbalance. In this case, the cause is higher estrogen levels. Probably you’ve noticed that this fat accumulation is typical for women and usually women who can’t get rid of excess weight have such a hormonal imbalance.

In this case, nutrition is a key player. Soy and all soy derivatives are not encouraged and my advice is to avoid them. Read Stefani Ruper’s post HERE on how soy affects the health of women.

3.Get rid of the bat wings and flabby arms

Image source: www.epykliving.co.za

Image source: www.epykliving.co.za

Here the information about nutrition and training is the same. It is really important how you eat and if you perform the exercises properly.

Not to mention that a lot of women are afraid of doing push- ups or dips, because they are concerned with getting bulky or too muscular. Actually, the best exercises you could do in order to shape your arms are push- ups and dips. It is exactly the loos skin on your triceps that is driving you insane. If you regularly perform push-ups, dips, military press, side press and other pushing movements, you will do wonders for your arms.

What does fat accumulation on your triceps indicates about your hormones?

When it comes to hormones and fat accumulation on your triceps, this is an indication for low androgen levels.

Actually, leptin is the hormone that is being released from fat cells and it stimulates the turnover of male sex hormones into female sex hormones. I.e. the more fat we have, the more leptin our fat cells secrete and the more likely we  are to have such an imbalance in our androgen levels.

Nothing feels like being strong does!

Nothing feels like being strong does!

That’s why my advice is to once again focus on your nutrition.

In conclusion, I will tell you that we do not have problem zones. It is our approach that is mistaken. The appropriate nutrition plan and appropriate training program, with exercises performed with proper technique are the key to our dreamed body.

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What Are The Foods That Disrupt Your Metabolism and Make You Gain Weight?

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Let me ask you a question. Answer honestly! Why do you eat healthy? Because you think that this way you are gonna get the abs you dream about, your arms will look better and probably your cellulite will be gone?

We eat and we rarely realize what is the information that gets in the body through the food we choose. We don’t realize how the choice we make to eat a salad of fresh veggies, baked fish and spices, pizza or a sandwich, determines not only the way we feel, but also the quality of our life. The  food we choose, determines our future! Yes, it is that important!

Why?

Do you know that about 75% of our immune system is placed in our gastrointestinal tract? The immune system ( our guardian) is protected from the environment, just by a thin layer of cells. If for some reason the wholeness of this layer is damaged, we should expect  a cascade of negative consequences.

What kind of consequences?

-to become allergic to foods that we used to eat without any reverse bad  reaction;

-to feel discomfort of bloating and gas, due to the inability to digest the food;

-to get sick more often;

-the immune system might become hyper – reactive, which could expose us to a constant state of inflammation.

You’ve probably heard how the gut and the brain are connected. Do you know that during embryogenesis, a tissue is being split in two parts – one part forms the central nervous system and another one becomes the enteric nervous system. Up to a particular stage of our development, both systems develop independently from one another. On a later stage, both are being connected through a neuron “cable” called Vagus nerve.  The Vagus nerve is the connection between our brain and our gut. Thus the brain and the gut are connected throughout our whole life and they are in constant communication.

This is the reason we get butterflies in our stomach, before an exam. This is the reason a lot of antidepressants cause stomach issues, as well as the reason food intolerances could have direct influence on our mood and behavior.

Actually, everything has a deeper logic. A lot of the neurotransmitters ( they play the role of “ ambassadors” who send, stimulate and regulate the signals between neurons and body cells) are being produced in the gut. An example for neurotransmitters are for example dopamine, melatonin, serotonin.  Even if we don’t dig deeper into science, you have heard these names and you know that they are important for not being depressed, having a proper circadian signaling and so forth.

Imagine that the gut is the place where neurotransmitters are being build. If for some reason the health of the gut is disturbed; if there is some kind of imbalance, then these processes can’t happen. In reality, not enough care for the health of our gut or to be more precise the constant damage by unhealthy food choices, leads to the fact that we interfere with the ambassadors of our body. We are the one who interrupt the proper communication between our gut and our brain.

Look at things this way – if the gut is the place where we receive the information from our external environment, through the food and drinks we take, it is also the place where this information is being  “digested”, selected and finally sent to the brain. If the brain is the one that commands what should happen in our body, then we’d like it to receive trustworthy information. The brain makes decisions and sends signals for actions, based on the returning data, it receives from the gut, through neurotransmitters and hormones, that are being released.

What do we do?

Снимка: www.drhagmeyer.com

Снимка: www.drhagmeyer.com

We send information that cannot be “digested” properly. Our boss ( the brain) doesn’t get actual and proper data about the state of our body. It sends signals for action, which are based on false facts. This leads to an execution of the tasks, which do not suit the actual state of the body. There seems to be an imbalance, which we sustain on a daily basis. This imbalance causes more chaos in our body, which we can feel and experience through disease, lack of strength, fatigue and so forth.

None of us can see what is happening in our body, but everyone of us can feel what is taking place.

In my previous posts, I explained you in detail about food intolerances, grains and dairy products. You can read more here:

The Bible of Food Intolerances

Everything You Need to Know About Dairy Products

The Truth About Grains: Why They Make You Sick?

Part 1: Why Grains Are NOT Healthy?

Part 2: Why Grains Are NOT Healthy?

4 Myths about Grains

Today I will introduce you the so called FODMAPs (fermentable, oli-go-di-monosaccharides and polyos) or in other words, fermentable, non- absorbable carbs. When we eat foods that contain them, in the process of digestion they leave a lot of material that is food for bacteria. When bacteria eat it and proliferate, they ferment. When they ferment, this can lead to bloating, stomach pain and gas.

There are some foods, which ferment faster. That’s where FODMAPs come into play. These are sugars which cannot be digested and they feed bacteria, by creating circumstances for fungi in our digestive tract and lead to an imbalance in the ecosystem of the intestines.

Sometimes these type of foods, can cause symptoms out of the gut, like depression, mood swings, fatigue. As you already understood, our brain and gut are connected.

Sure, here everything comes up to the dosage. I am not telling you to exclude these foods completely. You should be careful and stay away from turning them into the staple of your diet.

Here are the foods that contain FODMPAs:

Снимка: blog.katescarlata.com

Снимка: blog.katescarlata.com

Dairy products: Lactose is the milk sugar. If you’ve read the post about dairy products, you already know that a lot of people have difficulty digesting lactose, because they lack the enzyme lactase. In addition, bigger quantities of dairy products, and especially milk can cause digestive issues.

Fruits and honey: Fructose is fruit sugar. Most tropical fruits and melon contain bigger quantities of fructose. Apples, pears and peaches fall in this category. Honey, agave and other sweeteners contain fructose. Most of the sport drinks contain a lot of fructose, as well.

Lentils and beans: They are oligosaccharides and fall in this category. You are probably not surprised, when you keep in mind how you felt the last time you ate a second helping of beans.

Wheat, onion and cabbage: Wheat contains sugars called fructans. Wheat is in everything. You will notice that if you buy your spices in packages and mixes, the label says that they contain wheat. Fructans are also in vegetables like onions, cauliflower, broccoli. Personally I love the taste of onion in my meals, but I rarely eat it because later on I feel bad. Have you noticed this with yourself?

Alcohol sugars: They are part of a lot of packaged foods. If you read on the package that it contains xylitol, maltitol or sorbitol, this means that there is alcohol sugars. The most interesting thing is that exactly “healthy foods”, the foods that claim they are “sugar free” contain these sweeteners.

Probably, even before you read this, you’ve noticed that you do not feel good if you eat a couple bowls of beans or if you overeat with fruits and cabbage.

Sometimes we don’t realize how by constantly consuming, bigger quantities of these foods, we can cause gut issues. This might be the reason for fatigue, mood swings and depression.

These are conditions that are common among people. We are more incline to take pills, to undergo a bunch of medical tests, yet we are not incline to change what is up to us – the choice of food.

The cure of every symptom starts from the kitchen –your own kitchen! The cure to every disease starts with the choice of food we make.

Choose something better for yourself!

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Get In Shape Without Going to The Gym

ina-tren

The best things happen on coincidence. Probably because coincidence is the name of nature’s laws. Coincidence is just the occasion, the reason to encounter what you are secretly looking for. Every Saturday, it takes me to an unknown place. I wake up in the morning and Ivaylo and I decide that we will travel without direction. We decide to get out of our comfort zone and to research the corners of the world, that are left infamous – not because they are not interesting, but because we’ ve become people who are slaves to security. We’d rather do the same thing over and over again, but be under the wing of the routine, that doesn’t offer us adventures, but offers us predictability. A predictability, which doesn’t bring sensations that are worth living for. It is just giving us enough sensations that sustain our existence.

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You know that every beginning is difficult. You know how the unknown scares us and even when you know that something is good for you, but it is still different and new, you have that fear that is trying to break you. There is an inner fight – to quit and get satisfied with your present state or to challenge yourself and reveal something more. That’s how I feel every time when we travel. When we are about to leave the city, I’d like to ask Ivaylo to turn back and go to the park. To take a walk there and then go back home. After all this is a place I visit every day and I can walk there with my eyes closed and still find the path home. Still, I patiently shelter my insecurity and I let the hunger for adventures lead me.

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This time we ended up in Passarel. A wonderful place near Sofia, but in the same time it is distant from the town and civilization. It is closer to nature and it offers its beauty. A place where time goes with a different pace. There, time is not something to limit or rush you. There, time is just an orienteer.

We parked the car near the church. We took one path and it was extremely muddy. By walking, I found out that I have lied to you when I said that the best investment I made was my foam roller. I realized that my best investment are my winter shoes. When you travel in winter, you realize how important are the clothes you wear. With these shoes, mud didn’t bother me. We were walking and enjoying the peaceful nature. During the last couple months I decided to change some of my habits. I used to walk a lot, but just… walk. I decided to remind myself what it is like to walk like kids – to do what you feel like doing. This includes the following:

While I am calmly walking by my sister, I suddenly burst into an uphill sprint. When I see stairs, instead of walking like a normal adult, I jump on them. I suddenly stop by a bench and do 10-20 jumps on it. I balance on the edge of the bench or a railing. I find a thicker branch and I do pull-ups. Actually I turn park into a playground.

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That’s what Ivaylo and I did. In the video you will see part of the exercises we did.. sporadically. We had a really intensive walk. We loaded our whole body without even having a structured workout. I reminded myself how kids always manage to stay in shape.

Then, on the way back we stopped by the rope bridge. I felt like I was in a  movie. The woods on the bridge were so decayed! There were holes in them and they were covered by snow. Ivaylo and I are pretty adventurous and we decided to walk on the bridge. We didn’t just walk on it… we didn’t skip doing our specialty. Ivaylo did a handstand and I did a pistol squat on the railing of the bridge. Mom, dad, for the first time I really hope you are not reading this post and you are not gonna see these pictures. ;)

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I love challenging myself. People often ask me how I manage to balance on narrow surface. I always think that the space I need to do a pistol squat on the railing, is the same as the space I need on the ground. Everything else is in my mind. I step on the railing. I focus and turn to myself. I don’t hear or see anything around. I merge into myself and I try to reach the infinite potential that each one of us has. I tell myself that I’ve done it a hundred times and there is no reason to fail today. And usually, I succeed. If not… I can swim! ;)

Look for adventures. Try because, life offers us abundance of opportunities. They are found beyond the boundaries of our comfort zone.

Here are some more ideas:

4 Mistakes That Ruin Your Diet

sushi

Healthy eating is something really simple. As it often happens, we turn simple and approachable things – those that come to us instinctively, into something complicated. We implicate around simple stuff, complicated methodic, rules and the accompanying sense of guilt. This is completely true for diets. We, women are queens when it comes to torturing our bodies. We take a diet and we filter it through our own fears and convictions. We read about one diet and we decide to start following it and then – day after day we take out everything healthy about it and we take it down to food, that doesn’t give our body anything, besides more deprivation.

For the past 7 years I’ve been involved in the world of healthy nutrition. I traveled a long way, and I made a lot of mistakes. Mistakes, which often left me feeling overwhelmed and confused. I was making the effort, yet I never achieved my goals. Healthy lifestyle was supposed to make me feel better and my trials showed the opposite. Looking back on the past, I see how I sabotaged my own progress. Sometimes when we are too goal oriented and when we want to achieve our goals as soon as possible we make mistakes that cost us a lot.

Often times we have some kind of an ideal, a goal and we try to stuff reality in our notions about how things are supposed to happen. In fact, we should use reality in order to build the path to our dream – step by step.

Today, I will share with you some of the mistakes I made in the past. These mistakes are common among women.

1.Eating too much vegetables

Снимка: www.mirror.co.uk

Снимка: www.mirror.co.uk

“Too much” is a vast concept. Everybody has a different definition, but you can always feel it when you are overdoing something and when you are doing it in moderation.

We wrongly substitute the word “healthy” with “low – calorie”. When we have a wrong definition, we get a wrong execution. This notion, urges us to build our menu on the base of foods, which are low- calorie and nutrient – deficient. Every one of you knows what it feels like to be hungry. You want to focus on something, but your body is constantly annoying you, telling you that it wants food. Still, you don’t want to give it too many calories, so it won’t store them as fat. What could you do in order to content both – your own self and your body? You can fool your body with food that doesn’t contain many calories.

That’s what I used to do. I used to eat little, but not enough. I used to get hungry pretty quick, but I knew that it wasn’t time for my next meal. I had the perfect option – VEGETABLES. A couple carrots, a couple pickles, a pepper or two and whatever is in season. What matters is to have something to chew, something that engages me and tricks my body that I am feeding it.

I’ve reached to a point where I ate A LOT of vegetables. I remember how I encountered the blog of a pretty famous fitness model, who claimed that you can eat more than a kilogram of vegetables a day. What matters is to eat less from the calorie – dense food. I listened to her and I followed her advices.

What are the results?

You stuff your body with vegetables. You feel bloated and your body doesn’t feel satiety. You are constantly thinking about food and you need something that is calorie – dense. Something that will feed your body.

What is the conclusion I made?

Eating vegetables all day long, doesn’t lead to better results! The problem is that for most people, getting in shape is a fight with their weight. If we know better, how our body functions, then there is no need for a fight. Just synchrony. Every time when we eat, this leads to a reaction from our body and a need for our digestive system to work. How do you think that this would influence your body – eating vegetables all day long?

What is the solution? Eating enough quality and nutrient – dense food. If we eat a steak with some veggies, our body will feel satiety and we won’t need to eat something every 30 minutes.

It is far better to eat 3-4 times a day, in enough quantities, than eating less, all day long.

2.Substituting food with energy drinks and coffee

coffee

This is common among women. “This is my third coffee. I don’t feel like drinking it, but I am hungry that’s why I am buying it.” When I used to drink coffee, I’ve made this mistake as well. I get hungry, but it is not time for my next meal, that’s why I search for a way to trick my body. I give it coffee, Isostar, Gatorade or something from the sort. When I used to do this, my body didn’t feel good. There was always that acerbity in my mouth. As if I was tasting the artificial sweeteners and the artificial coloring in these drinks.

Besides that, drinks that contain caffeine, increase cortisol levels – the stress hormone. When we are hungry, its levels rise. It is an instinctive reaction left from our ancestors. When you are hungry, cortisol levels rise. Our senses sharpen and we get more alert, in order to find a prey and guarantee our survival. Nowadays, we are neither walking around with spears, nor bears and wolfs are chasing us. Our survival is in danger by other factors, but not by food scarcity.

Chronically elevated cortisol, influences not only the way we feel, but also the way we look. Probably you’ve heard that the places we tend to store fat, indicate about which hormone I out of balance. Well, storing fat around your mid-section, indicates higher cortisol levels.

What are the results?

You drink energy drinks, coffee or other low- calorie drink, which make your stomach feel full. Drinks that do not ring for the satiety of your body. They make you feel bad, but does it matter? After all you are taking less calories.

What is the conclusion I made?

When you feel hunger, you need to eat. Some people can’t differ physical hunger from emotional hunger.

When you wonder if you need to eat, drink a glass of water and if 10 minutes later you are still thinking about food, this means that you are truly hungry. Instead of making coffee, make an omelet.

What is the solution?

Listen to your body. When we give our body what it needs, when it needs it we are in synchrony with it. Then, it won’t resist our goals, nor are we gonna resist its goals.

3. Substituting food with chewing gums or candies

duvki

Variety of chewing gums is almost as the variety of fruits and vegetables. There are chewing gums for every taste. Thee is for every caprice – without aspartame, without sugar, without artificial coloring. Chewing gums are another weapon against hunger, Or at least that is how we fool ourselves. The same is true for candies. It is interesting how we take things – if it is not a solid meal, then it doesn’t contain calories and we can substitute our meals with it.

The mouth can be accepted as a digestive organ as well. The tongue, saliva and teeth – they are no coincidence. Everything that gets in our mouth, sends signals to the brain. Chewing, activating the taste buds is a signal for the body that food is coming. If we are constantly signalizing our body that it will receive food, but it doesn’t receive it, this makes it much worse. Our inner instincts will urge us to search solid food. Do not get me wrong. I also love mint chewing gums. But I do not substitute my meals with them.

Candies…pure sugar. Caramel candy, strawberry candy! It is still a candy. Why do you think that it is better to take a candy instead of eating something nutrition dense?  Candies are a pure source of carbs ( the once you do not want to eat), artificial sweeteners and colors. With one sentence – nothing that brings satiety to the body.

Instead of fooling our body with gums and candies, it is far better to feed it.

4.Substituting calorie dense foods with low calorie foods

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As I mentioned, healthy is not equivalent to low – calorie. Every time when you see progress, you get enthusiastic to achieve better results. You reach to a point, where you substitute your meals, with really low – calorie foods. Suddenly curds and yogurt, become the staple of your diet. You stuff yourself with veggies and you eat a ton of curds. Curds, temporary makes you feel full. In the same time it doesn’t contain many calories. Perfect! Or maybe not?

The goal to be athletic, with a nice, lean body can be achieved with EATING… the right foods. Everything in the body comes up to biochemical processes. For every process you need building blocks. These building blocks come from food. Through it we take macro and micro – nutrients, which aid the functioning of our body. The food we eat, determines the hormonal responses of our body. The hormones our body releases, determines the way we look and feel. If a person is what he eats…  who would you be if you eat just curds and plane, boiled chicken breasts? Probably we will feel just as plane, robbed out of “color” and vitality.

What are the results?

You eat low- calorie foods. You are always hungry. Yes, your body is starving even when your stomach is full. When we don’t give our body what it needs, our mind is busy to think about foods, which will give us what we need. You eat less, you feel tired and exhausted. You lose weight, but you do not look athletic, as you want. You have the skinny –fat look.

What is the conclusion I made?

It is far better to eat a steak with salad. It is far better to cook a meal with sea food and stewed veggies. It is far better to use coconut butter for my veggies. I better eat nutrition – dense food. Then my body feels satiety. I get full faster. My body has building blocks. I take care of it and it returns the favor by helping me achieve my goals.

What is the solution?

To eat real food. Food that contains enough macro and micro – nutrients, which give building blocks to our body. The building blocks that help us shape the body we want!

Here is what I’ve been training for the past two days :)

My Personal Confession: 9 reasons I Quit Crossfit

Снимка: http://girlswhodocrossfit.com/

Image source: http://girlswhodocrossfit.com/

Another day. The alarm is ringing. I open my eyes and it is still dark outside. But this doesn’t matter. I wake up immediately. The day is not gonna wait for me. I grab my bag and I head to the stadium. It is dark, I am cold and I am still sleepy. It doesn’t matter. After all, you got to pay the price, in order to receive something that you want. At least that is what I’ve been taught and what I have fallen to believe. I am trying to warm up, but my body is still sleeping. In my mind, I am trying to grab a picture of my dream, a picture of my goal. A picture, which is gonna lead me and give me a sense of meaning, when my body is trying to break me and force me to rest.

That’s how my mornings used to be like, a couple years ago. I used to wake up at 4:30a.m. and I went to work out, so I can fit everything in my schedule – work, University, workouts and so forth.

The time when I found Crossfit. A moment when something inside of me flickered and as if I once again met my old love. Everything in Crossfit, reminded me about the physical conditioning in basketball. I decided that I finally found, what slipped away a couple years earlier.

I started reading and following everything that had to do something with Crossfit. I subscribed about all Crossfit Journals. I read every single issue. I used to read hundreds of blogs and I followed popular crossfitters. I was giving my best to become better.

I used to train hard and initially I had great results. I felt more athletic and my appearance changed.

I will make long story short and I will jump right to what matters. I reached to a point, where I felt tired and over trained. Instead of feeling better, my body started feeling worse and everything hurt. My body felt stiff, old and forgotten injuries started to remind of themselves. I have tested everything – 6 days on:2 days off; 2 days on:1 day off and so forth.

Nothing changed.

I still remember a day, when I was doing another WOD with n- number of squats and burpees and I was wondering how it is possible to feel so exhausted.

I came home and I decided that this was not the way to do it. I decided that I need to do what I always do – when walking in one direction takes me to a dead end street and I don’t see a way out, I should just make a complete turn. To go back and see where I made a mistake or where I could do things differently.

I started reading more and experimenting more. I got to the conclusion, that the principle 80?20 is true for workouts, i.e. 80 per cent of the results come from 20 percent of the effort. I was supposed to find which are these 20 percent. Thus, I came to the training method I use today, but I will share it in my next post. Now I will share my point of view about Crossfit.

What I like about Crossfit

Снимка: http://girlswhodocrossfit.com/

Image source: http://girlswhodocrossfit.com/

1.Crossfit  combines functional exercises and it doesn’t force you to specialize in one particular thing. It gives you an opportunity to challenge yourself in different sports, to test every physical skill – strength, endurance, agility, balance, speed and so forth.

2.Crossfit gives you an opportunity to be  in a community, where you are surrounded by people who share your interests and encourage your goals.

4. Crossfit gives an opportunity to every beginner, to train together with the advanced – to receive inspiration and experience.

5.Crossfit is a sport, that requires the trainees to have patience and look on their physical preparation in a long term perspective, while they are still dedicated to the basics.

6.Crossfit educates discipline.

7.In Crossfit workouts, everybody is defined as an individual, while still, the behavior to him is like to a team player – i.e. everybody trains up to his own abilities, but he is expected to help others, encourage them and the same is expected from them, as well.

8. Crossfit gives you an opportunity to try different moves, that you thought were just for professional athletes. It divides complicated movements, into a simpler, scaled and easy to perform movements. After consistent practice, you can put them together and finally have the opportunity to perform the “complicated” movement with ease.

Снимка: http://girlswhodocrossfit.com/

Image source: http://girlswhodocrossfit.com/

At the beginning, Crossfit definitely laid down the foundations of a positive movement, which encourages people to move more, train more and be more conscious about the choices they make and lead a better lifestyle. Crossfit, started as a sport for the average person, but became a sport that pretty much neglects the needs of the body and focuses on achievemnts.

Here is what I don’t like about Crossfit and the reasons I quit on this type of training:

1.The focus on the quantity of the work done, without giving enough priority to technique.

The myth, that Crossfit has standards about the technique, has its real proves just among professionals. Crossfit became a professional sport and we are once again fooling ourselves that Crossfit for the average person is the same. Just watch a video of trainees, which are not professionals. It hurts just to watch them squatting, jumping or running.

When the focus is on the quantity of the work done, we often ignore the signals of the body in our strive to reach the final goal. We reach to a point, where we force our body to perform a particular movement, even when the supporting muscles are tired and they give us a signal to stop. This increases the risk of overtraining and injury.

2.Too much work

Every one of you has heard about the diminishing norm of return or in other words, after a particular quantity of work done, more is actually equal to less. This is true for workouts, as well. The measure of a good workout is not exhaustion. Actually exhaustion and too much soreness are a sign that we are doing something wrong – we are not structuring our workouts properly, we are not picking the right weights and we are not recovering well.

From the beginning, I used to find the WODs, that contain 100 squats or 40-50 push – ups in just one round, to be strange. How many people do you know, that could perform 50 push – ups with PROPER technique, while in a complex with other exercises? I don’t know many!

Here, you will say that you can scale them down and do kneeling push- ups or band assisted push- ups. But do you really need to do it? Aren’t you gonna have more use, if you perform 5 sets of 5 push –ups – in a controlled and conscious manner. Feeling how every fiber in your body, endures the load, how every muscle from your chest, through your abdomen to your glutes is being activated!

Less work, done in a conscious manner, leads to better results!

3. Too much repetitiveness

If, on a  daily basis, we repetitively load our body in a similar way, i.e. with the same movements, done a bunch of times, we wear it out. We stress the same muscles, tendons, ligmanets. We load the body in the same planes, we make it strong in one directions, and we leave it weak in another. Do you think that 400 squats in a WOD are good for the body? 400 reps from a similar movement… 400 reps that wear out the body in one direction and load the same muscles.

4.Workouts are directly connected with the hormonal balance of the body

Exhausting workouts, that are common for Crossfit, often lead to depleting hormones and super production of other hormones. Inadequate recovery, leads to inhibited immune system, too much stress on the soft tissues and joints, increased risk of overtraining. Overtraining is a stress for the body. Stress decreases the levels of sex hormones and growth hormone and increases cortisol, increases inflammation in the body.

5.Olympic movements are not meant to be performed in sets of 30 reps or for time.

Olympic movements are complex when it comes to technique. They combine power, strength, coordination. They should be performed with less reps with enough rest. They are demanding on the muscles and the nervous system and you should be recovered in order to perform them without high risk of injury.

Crossfit WODs, have Olympic movements, which should be performed for time and with reps that do not lead to compromising with technique.

6.Variation has nothing to do with being chaotic

Adherents of Crossfit, say that the foundation of every WOD is variation. I will tell you that the foundation is more chaotic. At the beginning, when Crossfit was founded, the WODs had more variation and purpose. But nowadays, it Is not quite like that. You will see WODs, that combine a bunch of knee – dominant exercises or pushing movements. Exercises with high repetitiveness, that load the same muscles. More often than not the goal of the exercises is exhaustion and going to the limit.

Variation has to do with variety of exercises, done with the goal, to load the body in different planes, from different angles and with different intensity. It challenges you to train different qualities, which combines together increase physical preparedness.

7.There isn’t an individual approach. The WOD is just the norm.

wod

How could you train with 20 people at the same time and ask all of them to do the same thing? Even if you use the argument with scaling of the exercises – scaling has nothing to do with the needs of the body. You are asking a person, who is obviously having tight pecs and mobility restriction in the shoulder, to perform a bunch of push presses and a bunch of push – ups in a single WOD. Does his body need it? No! Why is he doing it? Because this is the WOD.

The body of each one of us is different and has different restrictions, which a good workout should target. The goal should be to turn our weaknesses into strengths and to find the weak links in our body. Then, through the right selection of exercises we should help it function properly.

8.Crossfit is for professionals, not for beginners.

The arguments with scaling come short again! I train with a lot of people and I will tell you that the beginners who can jump, run, lift weights and so forth, while performing everything with proper technique are… 0%.

Beginners should focus on technique, on learning to feel their body. Their task is not to set records. The task is to learn how to move their body through space. Running, jumping, exercise that require more coordination and have a more complex technique are a part of a workout based on a progression in the load. You can’t ask a beginner, to do dynamic exercises, when he hasn’t mastered his body in a  static position.

9.Crossfit is not meant to improve health. Crossfit gives more power to ego.

Crossfit is  a great… sport! Professional sport has nothing to do with the desire of the average person to be fit, healthy and look good in a bikini.

Professional athletes do just this – they train. During the rest of the time they are recovering.

The average person, doesn’t have time to recover from such an intense workout. And he doesn’t need to!

Crossfit became a professional sport. Professional sport is not for health. The average person sees just fragments from the life of professionals and then tries with jus a couple pieces, to put together his own puzzle. The problem is that in order to put together the whole puzzle, we need to know much more. Workouts of professional athletes do not fit the goals of the average person. Even if you think that you are extremely athletic, until sport becomes your profession, you are just fooling yourself that you can follow these protocols and be healthy and feel good.

Do not get me wrong – Crossfit is a wonderful sport and it gave me  lot! Still, Crossfit can be done properly, just when you have enough experience in the gym; when you recover properly. Crossfit, the way you see it for professional athletes is not suitable for the average person. For the past two years and a half, I’ve been training differently and I feel great and I am in the best shape of my life.

Инес Субашка

Ines Subashka

 

Инес Субашка

Ines Subashka

ina3

In my next post I will share with you how I train and what I left from Crossfit.

The Most Delicious Healthy Dessert: Homemade Banana- Chocolate Cream

Най-вкусният здравословен крем

The most delicious healthy dessert

I love spending time in the kitchen. It is an art itself. I love experimenting and then scooping from the sides of the bowl. This week, my kitchen adventures, once again, proved me that healthy desserts are more delicious than regular once. I once again realized that with real foods and just a couple ingredients, and in no time, you can prepare something delicious. That’s what happened with the chocolate – banana cream, I prepared.

I had a mission – to prepare a healthy dessert without nuts. I had a couple ideas, but I decided to make a cream. It turned out delicious  and it becomes one of my favorite desserts.

Ingredients:

350 grams strained yogurt

3-4 bananas ( depending on how sweet you want it to be)

vanilla

2-3 table spoons natural cocoa powder

Directions:

Puree the bananas.

Add them to the strained yogurt and blend again.

Add some vanilla.

Divide the mixture in two. Add cocoa to half of it and mix well.

Then pour from both creams in a cup.

You can do it like this.

mus2

Sprinkle on top with cocoa powder or with crumbled cocoa nibs.

I am waiting for your pictures. Try it and share your results with me!

 

How to Grow Your Glutes without Growing Your Legs

glutes
I train with a lot of women. When they start training, most of them are bifurcated between the myths about women and weights and their inner sense of what is right. They come and train with me, they notice their own progress, but in the same time they cannot get rid of the notion that weights make women bulky.

After a month of lifting weights, they come to me and tell me that they have the feeling that their legs are getting huge. I take a look at them, and I don’t see anything – neither their pants are tearing on the edges, nor their thighs are rubbing. We look at the same thing, yet we see something different. Everybody sees reality through the filter of his own convictions.

Still, if you are completely convinced that your legs are huge, read THIS post.

Then, here is what you can do, if you have fears from lifting weights – if you are afraid that you will grow huge legs, but still you want to grow your butt.

What you need to do is to emphasize on exercises for our posterior chain – i.e. your butt and hamstrings. The exercises that load the lower part of the body, could be divided in two categories:

1.Hip dominant exercises – they, predominantly, load the posterior chain ( think about hip thrusters, good morning, swings, straight leg deadlift)

2.Knee dominant exercises – they predominantly load the anterior chain ( think about squats, lunges, pistol squats)

In my opinion both types of exercise are needed and if the body functions properly and if the exercises are performed properly, then there will be a balance between the activation of the anterior and the posterior chain.

Very often, loading the predominant loading of the anterior chain (i.e. the “huge legs” that you do not like) is due to the fact, that you do not perform the exercises properly and you do not activate your posterior chain. You rely just on the quadriceps to do the work.

That’s why mission number one is to learn how to perform the exercises properly. For those of you who are more curious: read HERE how important is the angle, under which we perform an exercise.

Mission number two will be as follows – include more exercises, which predominantly load the posterior chain and do not activate the anterior chain up to that degree.

Here, I want to note that the reps and sets, are not always the key to if the muscle is growing or not. What I mean is that every time you stress the muscle, i.e. you work to failure, no matter if you do 5, 12 or 30 reps, you could achieve hypertrophy ( increase of muscle mass).

Still, if you want to get the benefits of your workouts, you will load yourself enough and you won’t do really light sets, that don’t challenge you at all.

What are the exercises you should include?

1.Hip Thrusters on One Leg

GREAT exercise! There isn’t an exercise that loads my posterior chain, the way that this exercise does it. The way my posterior chain looks is due to this exercise.

2.Good morning

This is another favorite exercise. While I am doing it, it is not one of the exercises that exhaust me… until the next day when I wake up and the memory of this exercise, has left a lasting trace on my hamstring – a great feeling of soreness. An exercise that reminds of itself, long after you have done it in the gym.

This is one of the exercises that I do not recommend for beginners. You should first learn how to activate your posterior chain, in order to learn how o bring your hips back. Otherwise you can injure your lower back.

3.Swings

Swings are a great exercise, that can help you activate your posterior chain. Unfortunately, I observe that most people do it wrong. Even trainees that have experience in the gym, fool themselves that they are performing it properly. More often than not, they are just leaning back and stressing their lower back.

4.One Legged Deadlift

This is another one of the great exercises. Here, you should once again be advanced. It is important to have some progression in the exercises you include. Enjoy your journey and do no rush it. The more coordinated you become, the stronger you become, the more complicated progressions you can include.

5. Swiss Ball Roll-out

This exercise loads the posterior chain. I perform it either on one leg, or on both legs. When you do it on one leg it is kind of challenging, so if you are a beginner, start on both legs.

6.Glute-ham Raise

This exercise is pretty complicated. Still, there is always a way to perform it. The challenge for your posterior chain is huge and initially, you might feel your calves cramping ( I will share a post with you, where I will explain you how to deal with it). Until then, just stretch and massage your calves.

7. Straight Legs Deadlift

This is an exercise that once again goes in the “advanced” category. If you have not started to feel your body better and to activate your posterior chain, you might put an unnecessary stress on your lower back.

At the beginning, train the movement without weights and then start increasing the load.

Sure, there are a lot of exercises that you could do, but these are on my top list.

My advice is to include these exercises, by doing 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps.

Do you think I am done? No!

If you think that your legs are huge, the problem is not in the squats, lunges or Bulgarian squats. The problem is in your nutrition. I have never met a woman, who is lean and unhappy with her muscles. Usually, the unwanted volume of the legs, is due to the fact that you have more fat, on top of the muscles.

That’s why, besides taking the time to train, focus on your nutrition.

My philosophy is that you train for performance, but you eat for weight loss. At the beginning they go hand in hand, but the end of the day, how much and what we eat takes the lead!

 

When Nothing Else Seemed to Work Right, Be Right, Feel Right — The Barbell Felt Right

Снимка: www.crossfitcharlottetown.com

Image source: www.crossfitcharlottetown.com

There are days that start as if nothing is in place. You wake up and something is missing. You search but you can’t find what it is. You don’t know where is it’s place, but you feel the emptiness that has settled inside of you. There are days, when everything seems right, but inside of you is a complete chaos. You try to put it in order, but no matter what you do you keep feelingthe chaos.

Everybody has such days. Days when you don’t need anybody, but your own self. Moments to stay alone and face your demons, face your own pain and personal disappointment.

It was one of these days, that I do not deny. A day when I don’t manage to put myself in order, but days that I desperately need. I am forced to face everything that I do not like in myself, to accept it and then find a way to keep going forward. It is one of these days – bad for the ego, but great for my soul.

I went to the gym and I decided to work out. Pain is the weakness leaving the body. I always repeat it in my mind.

I put the bumpers on the barbell. Weights that I could lift without a problem… but not today. Today, my mind was trying to break me. It was trying to make me run away. How funny! Obviously, it didn’t realize that I cannot run away from my own self and that the best it could do was to allow me to challenge myself.

I put the bumpers on the barbell and as if I dumped down on it what was weighing… on my soul. I dumped it down on the barbell, so I could give it a shape; to breathe life into it and turn it into something material. This way it is easier to deal with it. When you see your enemy, you can judge him and see his weaknesses. You can evaluate if it is worth bothering or not.

I lifted the weight, but for a moment I felt my body weak. As if it was trying to give up. Was it trying to tell me that I am not stronger than anything? Was it trying to hint me that there is something outside of me and that I am not the one who determines what is gonna happen?

A good try! I lifted the weight and for a moment time stopped. A moment of numbness when my weakness met my strength. It was a matter of seconds – what was gonna prevail. A moment when I could see myself from the side. A moment when I reminded myself that the weight in the gym, increases, just when I become stronger and better. The weights get heavier, not in order to break me but in order to make me stronger.

The coach never gives you a heavier weight, before you are prepared to lift it. Life never gives you a challenge, before you are good enough, to go through it with mastery and end up like a winner.

Life never sends us obstacles, before we have nourished in our own self the opportunities, the qualities and the abilities to deal with them.

A moment, when I reminded myself that if I am holding this weight in my hands, then my body is prepared enough. It was just me and the weights. I was the coach and I believed in my abilities… just like life had faith in me.

I finished the set and I felt an urge of strength – physical and mental strength. As if by overcoming the weight in the gym, I overcame the burden in my life.

Again, on a couple acres of ground, surrounded by weights, I had an opportunity for a mini rehearsal for life.

A day when weights were once again, something more than a pile of iron. They were what symbolized the burden I was carrying inside. They were what reminded me that weight is not a burden, but a calling – for greatness. A calling that you can be something more than who you are today and that the weight that is given to you, is not meant to break you, but meant to make you stronger.

I placed the bumpers on the barbell… yet, in reality I dumped down on it what was weighing on my soul.

I lifted the barbell, and in reality I moved away the obstacle in my life.

He gym – the place, where you get the opportunity, on a couple acres of ground, to experience every emotion, in the time frame of a couple minutes. You get the opportunity to see life from a different perspective and then open the door. Get outside and feel more powerful and more capable than ever!

And my progress on the handstand push – ups.

4 Things to Avoid Eating In The Morning In Order to Be Fit

 

Lais De Leon

Lais De Leon

1.Dairy products besides butter

That’s right! Forget about a cup of milk for breakfast, a bowl of yogurt or a piece of toast with cheese.

The topic about dairy products, is a reason to write a whole book, but I will explain you some of the reasons to avoid dairy products and why you should exclude them from your breakfast, if you want to feel good.

There are a lot of arguments if eating dairy is healthy or not. I wrote on the topic HERE.

Remember that dairy products are as good as the source they come from – i.e. this automatically turns dairy products, bought from the supermarket into something you wouldn’t like to eat.

Second, the main problem with dairy products is pasteurization. Although, pasteurization decreases the risk of contamination in milk, it also kills the beneficial probiotics in milk, changes the characteristics of proteins and transforms milk from a source of nutrients, into a source of health problems. Do you know that in order for the process of pasteurization to be considered successful, one condition should be met – all living organisms should be killed. What does that tell you?

Снимка: freshdairies.wordpress.com

Image source: freshdairies.wordpress.com

Besides that, pasteurization turns lactose ( the milk sugar) in beta lactose sugars, which the body absorbs faster and which lead to a sudden peak in our blood sugar levels.

Do you know that it is exactly these peaks of blood sugar levels and the sudden drops that follow them, that cause hunger soon after we have eaten and cause the feeling of sluggishness and lack of energy?

How often do you happen to eat in the morning and two hours after that, you are hungry, even though the good quantity of food you ate? The reason is in these high and low cycles of blood sugar levels.

Besides that, on this stage of evolution, few people, digest lactose when we get older. After the age of 4-5, we lose the enzyme, that digests lactose. Then, by eating dairy products, we cannot digest them, and foods, that we cannot digest, lead to inflammation in the body, which in turn provoke other diseases like allergies, autoimmune diseases, mood swings, food intolerances ( HERE you can read more about the Bible of food intolerances. I recommend you this post.)

If you’ve been reading my blog, you are probably aware that in the foundation of my convictions is the fact that excess fat is a result of the improper functioning of the body and an indication that there is some kind of a problem in the body. Inflammation and food intolerances, are one of the main reasons for feeling bloated, sluggish, having mood swings and having a hard time to lose weight.

That’s why you better avoid dairy products in your breakfast.

Still, you can use butter. Even though it is a dairy product, butter is a lot healthier, because milk proteins ( those that harm us), are not present in butter. The small amount of milk proteins that are left in milk, are being enzymatically modified, during the fermentation process of butter. That’s why most people don’t have problems eating butter. You can try clarified butter(GHEE).

If you want to completely exclude dairy products, I recommend you coconut butter, which is a great source of fats in your healthy nutrition.

2.Sugar, including FRUITS

Снимка: http://www.tammysrecipes.com/node/5040

Image source: http://www.tammysrecipes.com/node/5040

I know that you feel perplexed. You’ve been thought that it is great to start your day with fruits and I am telling you the opposite. I have a post about women and fruit diets ( read it HERE).

You know that I have tried all types of diets and I have experimented with myself – A LOT. There were moments, when my breakfast included fruits. I didn’t eat a huge quantity – just a piece of fruit added to my usual breakfast.

I used to have breakfast and an hour later I was already starving ( but the feeling of hunger was a little bit different than the one when you haven’t eaten for a long period of time). This hunger, was accompanied by a lack of energy and a sudden change in my mood.

I read a lot and I realized that the problem was with the source of carbs in my breakfast ( check out why you better skip the carbs in your breakfast). I tried to remove fruits from my breakfast and on the first day, I already felt great. I ate eggs, avocado and veggies. I didn’t feel hungry till lunch and I had energy. Since then, I don’t eat that much fruit and when I do, it is during the second half of the day.

Besides that, in the morning, the body needs more sodium than potassium, so the blood pressure could go up. Eating fruits, in the morning ( which contain more potassium), leads to a decrease in the blood pressure. Low blood pressure, in the morning, steals our energy. As I mentioned earlier, when we eat sugar ( no matter the form of sugar), blood sugar goes up and then curtly falls down. As it goes down, our blood pressure decreases as well. These drops of blood sugar levels, cause the feeling of sluggishness, inability to focus and food cravings.

Removing sugar and excluding fruits from your breakfast, could be one of the best decisions you’ve made.

And do not forget that fruit smoothies count as well.

3.Grains

Снимка: http://www.thesweetbeet.com

Image source: http://www.thesweetbeet.com

Our favorite grains. How could you start your day healthy, if you do not start it with oats or a toast! Sure, this is just a joke! Our notions about healthy breakfast, led us to the lack of health.

Here, I want explain in details about the harm of grains. You can read more about it in these posts:

The Truth About Grains: Why They Make You Sick?

Part 1: Why Grains Are NOT Healthy?

Part 2: Why Grains Are NOT Healthy?

4 Myths about Grains

Foods that contain gluten are addictive. They break down in the gut into opiates, which binds with the same receptors in the brain, as other opiates like heroin. If we eat grains, on a daily basis, our brain gets addicted as it would do with drugs. We start wanting more and more. We need a bigger quantity, just so we can satisfy our receptors. That’s why we feel the urge to eat, that’s why we experience mood swings and body discomfort.

Starting the day with grains is one of the biggest mistakes we could make.

4.Skipping breakfast

Снимка: www.gopixpic.com

Image source: www.gopixpic.com

A lot of people, especially women, in their desire to lose weight, do their best to avoid eating some calories. We decide that t is better to skip breakfast and eat for lunch. Before you rush telling me, that I am wrong because fasting works, I will tell you that I completely agree. I am a fan of fasting, as well, but in order for it to work, we should follow the protocol.

What most people do, is skip breakfast, then they try to decrease the amount of calories on all other meals. This doesn’t give the body what it needs and makes it starve. We feel a lack of energy and we are constantly thinking about food. Thus, we do not have energy and our life is obeyed to the thoughts of food. There comes a moment, when we can’t go on like this and when we do not follow the fasting protocol, properly, and we starve, our body takes a toll on us, and there comes a time when we feast on every food.

If you can’t follow the IF properly, you better stay away from skipping breakfast.

We all know what we shouldn’t do, but what could we do in order to feel better?

I will share with you my morning ritual:

Every morning I get up at 5:30a.m.

I take 10-15 times for my foam roller and tennis ball; I do mobility drills and I practice my handstand. In these 10-15 minutes, I include 15-20 squats and 15-20 push-ups. It doesn’t take a lot of time and it is a great start of the day. You do not train, but you move and you feel energized.

While I am doing the exercises, I listen to an interesting podcast. I don’t always do it, because I love silence. Depending on my mood, I either move in silence or while listening to something motivating and enriching.
stoika-glava

Then I prepare a tea, which I drink, while I write my morning post.

If I have trained the day before, I always take a cold shower.

Do I eat? It depends on my schedule. If I have more workouts with my clients ( because my workday starts at 6:45 a.m.), I have a breakfast of eggs, avocado, olives and veggies.

If I have less workouts, I prepare natural cocoa with coconut butter ( I don’t drink coffee anymore). If I don’t make cocoa, I take a bottle with homemade bone stock. Thus, I have energy for the next 2-3 hours. After the workouts, I have breakfast which is always different, but I eat eggs/ meat/ fish+ avocado and olives+ veggies ( sometimes it is a salad, sometimes stewed veggies).

If you drink coffee, instead of cocoa with coconut butter, try Bulletproof Coffee.

How could you start the day so you could be in great shape?

Wake up early. Do some exercises. Don’t train, just move.

If you are hungry, prepare a breakfast of eggs, avocado, olives and a variety of veggies. If you are not hungry, prepare your food for later on or start your day with Bulletproof coffee.

The morning determines the way our day goes. That’s why you shouldn’t neglect your morning ritual and the way you fuel your body!

2 Mistakes That All Women Make When Trying To Get In Shape

emily sky

A wonderful woman – Emily Sky ( check her on Facebook)

The approach we have towards a healthy lifestyle is a key factor when it comes to if we are gonna live healthy or we are just gonna think we do. I am the queen of mistakes. I’ve made almost every single mistake in my diet, and I have tracked the negative consequences of it – how my body reacted to it, how my mind reacted to it and what happened with my health status.

There isn’t a person who have gone on a nutrition plan and hasn’t made this mistake – a mistake, which takes away the pleasure of food and forces us to eat just because we believe it is healthy and just because we believe it will help us achieve the body we want. This mistake has to do with the type of foods, that we eat and the way we prepare them.

Today I will explain you how with less food, you could feel satiety. The only thing you need to do is stay away from the mistake I am talking about.

I will explain you how you could get rid of the dependency on crappy foods – those that you love and those you believe you can’t live without. Actually, you can, but you are still not aware of what is about those foods that is tempting you. It took me some time to realize it, but since then I haven’t looked back.

1.How to get rid of the dependency on some foods

In the past, I was one of those people who believed, I couldn’t live without junk food. No chocolate? What did I do wrong to deserve such a punishment? ( ;) ) It turned out that I can live without chocolate, without cakes and grainy foods.

Actually, what used to tempt me, wasn’t the food itself, but the spices in it. As the time went y and with the change in my nutrition habits, my taste changed tremendously. I started feeling the taste of real food. If back in the days, an apple used to be the tasteless food in the world, nowadays it is extremely sweet for me. Besides that, I started sensing when some food contains an artificial ingredient.

I started identifying what is it about a particular food, that I like and what I do not like. It turned out, that what used to tempt me wasn’t the food itself, but the spices it contained.

I used to think I love cinnamon bread. Turned out that what I love is the cinnamon itself.

I used to think that I love brownie and its smell. In reality, I love the smell of vanilla and cocoa.

I used to think that I like salty, doughy foods and what I liked was the dried spices they contain.

You know that I have a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. I remember, how we used to study how smells are really important and how in some Malls and shops, they place flavoring agents. For example with the smell of vanilla or cocoa. When we go shopping and we sense the smell, it provokes a reaction. Smells wake up memories ( I will explain it scientifically later in this post).

These memories, provoke an emotion and urge us to behave in a way, that predisposes us to consume more, to buy more. The smell of vanilla… doesn’t it remind you about your childhood and the cookies of your mother? A time when you felt secure and loved and a time that you long to come ack. You get emotional and you become a slave of your emotions and you are the perfect target for marketing.

How does this matter about your nutrition plan?

Everything that you need to remember is that you are not starving for a particular food, but for the spices in it. Spices are healthy and you can use them, actually you should use them in a healthy, nutrition plan. Experiment in the kitchen and add different spices. They make your meals tastier. A steak could be cooked in a hundred ways, when you marinate it in different spices.

Omelets and salads are different, when you add basil, oregano, dried parsley or dried tomatoes.

You can prepare healthy pancakes, which contain vanilla and cocoa. Then you will feel satisfied and you will get the taste you are starving for. Unlike crappy foods, this food won’t make your body starve. You will get the taste you want, and your body will receive the food it needs.

Ето идеи за здравословни десерти:

The Most Delicious Healthy Pancake: Coconut Pancake Jovaylo

Кокосова палачинка Джовайло

Кокосова палачинка Джовайло

Healthy Dessert with Chocolate, Avocado Cream

Здравословен крем от авокадо

Здравословен крем от авокадо (Снимка; http://greatbodyskin.com)

What determines the taste of your food?

Снимка: http://paleospirit.com/

Снимка: http://paleospirit.com/

The taste of your food is not determined just by the data that is being registered in one particular sense – i.e. the taste of food is not determined just by the perception of our taste buds. The smell, the touch, the look and the sound of the food also have a key role when it comes to evaluating a food as delicious or not.

When something delicious gets in our mouth, its chemical structure,  is broken down by the saliva and the freely circulating molecules enter the taste buds. If the molecule binds to a receptor cell, it will provoke the cell to conduct a sequence of chemical and electrical signals.

It is supposed that later on, everything comes down to the signals that are being sent to the brain, but the process is a lot more complicated.

As I mentioned earlier, the taste of food and the information we receive about it is based on a lot more than the data registered in the taste buds.

The taste in most cases is a combination of smell and taste and what is interesting is that taste takes second place.

The nervous fibers of our odor, direct towards the brain. Some of these fibers, reach the hypothalamus – the center, that controls appetite, fear and satisfaction, and others reach the hippocampus, which is responsible for memories; some of them reach the brain stem, where main functions like breathing happen.

This explains the reason why smells provoke such a strong emotional response.

Actually our perception about taste is one of the most multi –sensitive, when we keep in mind that taste is the combination of smell, taste, the perception of our sight, hearing and so forth.

That’s why the more spices are a part of our meals, the more it will satisfy our taste and mind.

2.How you could feel more satiety by eating less?

steakshrimp-1040375

The quantity of food, that our body urges us to eat, is determined by if our body receives what it needs. If we deprive it from fats, then it doesn’t matter what is the quantity of the carbs and the proteins we eat. Our body will urge our mind to search for more food.

Often times, the desire to eat a particular food, is not a consequence of the fact that we didn’t eat enough, but of the fact that our body has some kind of a deficiency.

Often times, when we start following a nutrition plan, we eat really plane. We forget the cooking book with recipes and we completely ignore the art of cooking. We consider that boiled eggs, boiled chicken breast, and plane salads are the foods that we MUST eat. We think we are eating enough, yet we always feel hungry for more. What is it that is missing? Maybe it is exactly the taste!

Варени пилешки гърди. Това изглежда ли ви вкусно?

Boiled chicken breasts. Does that look tasty?

I realized that when I add more spices to my meals; foods with a more intense taste, I get full a lot faster and I feel satiety for a longer period of time. I eat what is healthy, I eat less, yet I feel satiety.

The reason is exactly what I already told you – taste is a multi – sensitive perception. The more we satisfy all of our senses, the more signals get to our brain and it is the one that dictates our behavior, based on the information it receives.

Chicken breasts with bacon and spices. They look a lot more tasty, don't you think? :)

Chicken breasts with bacon and spices. They look a lot more tasty, don’t you think? :)

What is the difference between those who can follow a nutrition plan without problems and those that encounter difficulties?

Emily Sky

Emily Sky

Those that successfully follow a nutrition plan, use spices and turn food into an art. They know that healthy nutrition, doesn’t mean tasteless food. They know that the combination of tastes I what brings satiety and they know that by giving their body a variety of quality food, they offer it what it needs in order to be healthy, strong and fit.

You don’t believe me?

Try adding basil to your salad; marinated dried tomatoes or some oregano.

Try to marinate your steak with different spices or prepare a homemade dip for your boiled eggs!
Alisa-qica

Then write me what is the difference. :)

My Top 5 Mentors: The People Who Taught Me The Most about Nutrition and Being Fit

ina

Every one of us, has searched for a mentor – a person, who could help us achieve our goals. I, as well as you, are the kind of people who are interested in a healthier lifestyle; people who adore to show off with the number of push – ups we can do; the weight that we can deadlift or squat; how fast we can finish a 400m run. We set goals and often times we think that we don’t have enough to achieve them. We think that we haven’t found the right coach. We whine that we don’t have enough money to pay for a coach; enough time to go to the gym or enough luck to meet the best coach.

Have you heard how they say that what we need is actually around us? The thing is that we are not vigilant enough to notice it.

Well, today I will tell you about the people who taught me the most about health. I will tell you more about my mentors. And if you expect me to list their titles, I will tell you that none of them has such ( when it comes to training and nutrition). People who are around me, on a daily basis and people that I could constantly observe … for free and even they don’t suspect what I see and what I discover in them.

Mentor number 1: My father

My father is not one of those people who count calories. You will see him, eating toasted bread, with a thin layer of butter spread on top and some juicy, homemade sausage for a final touch. He loves chocolate and homemade cakes. Still, my father looks in great shape.

What did I learn from him?

Прекрасният ми баща :)

My wonderful father:)

I learned that fit are not the people who go on a diet, but those who appreciate food and have a mindful approach to it. My dad is one of those people who give their best in everything. He works a lot and often times he forgets about himself, while he is busy thinking about others. He might not even know it, but he is unconsciously fasting. His first meal is in the afternoon or straight in the evening. He comes home hungry, but he doesn’t indulge in food, nor he eats while standing or doing something else. He might be starving, but he will sit around the table. He will patiently cut his food in small and perfectly precise pieces. It seems as every piece was cut with a template. He will arrange his food in the plate, and when it looks as if it was served in a 5 star restaurant, he will start eating. Then he eats really slow. He chews every bite and enjoys the taste. I haven’t heard him saying that he has overeaten.

By observing my father, I learned to appreciate my food and have a mindful attitude towards it. I now know, that a person is getting satiety not just by what he puts in his mouth – just because eating is multi-sensory. What matters is not just the taste of food, but the way it looks, the combination of tastes, the feeling ( is it crumbly, soft, hard), the time we chew it and the signals that reach our brain.

Lesson 1 : Fit people are those who appreciate food and have mindful attitude towards it!

Mentor 2: Ivaylo

Да...непрекъснато ходи по парапети :)

Ivaylo :) yes, he is constantly doing this!

I love having breakfast, lunch and dinner with him. I could observe him with hours. He turns everything into art. Food is no exception. He always arranges the salad. He makes broccoli look like a flower or a tree. He makes smiles with olives and peppers, on top of my omelets or he just carefully, arranges the food on the plate.

Ivaylo is one of those people, who are pretty fit, without being on a diet or going to the gym on a schedule. Actually, he rarely goes to the gym.

He eats really slow and he starts eating, only after he has completely prepared his food. I am the kind of person, wo will press the steak on the pan, when I am starving, praying that it will bake faster. On the other hand, he will stay patiently and wait until the steak gets ready… BY ITSELF. Without outer forces.

There could be a bunch of his favorite foods, but he won’t indulge in them. He will eat enough, without overeating. He prefers to eat enough, so he doesn’t get stuffed and later on, when he is hungry, he will eat again. He doesn’t care of he has eaten 2 times or 8 times. He eats when he is hungry. It doesn’t matter if it is a couple hours after 6p.m. or if it is 12p.m. and he hasn’t even had breakfast yet. For him, food is not the meaning of his life, but just something that gives him pleasure, when he needs fuel. The rest of the time, he is so into what he is doing, that he doesn’t need to kill the boredom with food.

Lesson 2: Food is not the meaning of life, but a fuel which brings us pleasure, when we need it.

Ивайло :)

Ивайло :)

Ivaylo taught me another lesson. He taught me that you do not need to make structured workouts in order to be in shape. He trains when he feels like it, and the rest of the time he is exactly like kids – he is constantly doing something –weather he is gonna jump on the bar of a bridge; weather he will do a pull up on a branch, even though the last time the branch broke and he fell on the ground; weather he will jump with ease on a cliff or he will just do a sprint to climb a hill in the mountain. He doesn’t care. He doesn’t train for appearance. He trains for life – he trains to challenge himself and enjoy the abilities that our bodies possess, while living life. He is fitter than 90% of the people I know – people who train on a daily basis and strictly count each rep and lb.

Lesson 3: In order to be fitter you don’t need to train in the gym. In order to be fitter, you need to use your body – all day long. You need to move it in as many ways as possible; you need to move it in a spontaneous way and not just out of a routine habit.

Mentor 3: My sister

Габи :)

Gabi:)

If you don’t know it yet, I have a twin sister. When people see us together, they say: “You are so much alike.” Then we explain we are twins and what follows is: “ Really? Oh, you don’t have anything in common!”

Yes, even though we are twins, as much as we are alike we are really different. Gabi was one of the kids, who used to be fatter. The kind of kid who loved second helpings and wasn’t ashamed to ask for more. Her love for food, led her to a point when she was 17 years old, yet she was really heavy – 96kg.

Gabi before and after :)

Габи преди и след :)

Until the day, when she decided that this is not the body she wanted to live in; a body that was gonna define her and the reason others would judge her. She decided that food is not the most precious thing in her life and she changed… completely. She started taking care of her body. Back in the days, she ate her food in no time.

Today, Gabi is the kind of woman, who causes traffic on the street when she walks across it.She looks fabulous and she is really fit. She eats slowly and sometimes, I even get irritated by the fact how much time she needs to eat.  You won’t see her asking for second helpings or to pile food on her plate.

Lesson 4: Where you are now Is not that important. What matters is who you work to become. Being fit doesn’t have a deadline or an age. Being fit is a matter of choice. Habits could be formed and they are a consequence of a decision that we make!

Mentor 4: My grandmother

Баба ми на 71г. И аз си пожелавам да изглеждам и да се чувствам така :)

My grandmother – Emi :)

A lot of people think that being in shape has an age imitation. Actually, being fit is a lifestyle and not a temporary state of being. My grandmother is 71 years old, yet she looks fabulous. Not because she is my grandma, but because you can’t call the white, black. I’ve always admired the way she eats and the desire she invests in cooking.

When I was a kid, I was irritated by the fact how slowly she cut the salad in really small pieces. It took more time, and who cared how it was cut. As the time went by, I realized I was wrong. Part of the pleasure of eating is in preparing your food – with desire.

My grandma is not the kind of woman who was an athlete, but she is the kind of a woman that always rises up admiration. She is constantly doing something. She spends a lot of time in the garden – she carries stuff, digs, mows the yard, waters the flowers or cleans the windows. Fitness at home, with whatever is available.

Lesson 5: Being fit is a lifestyle; an attitude towards life and a deep care about details.

Mentor 5: My little cousin – Mariela

Мариела с мен и сестра ми :)

Mariela, my sister and I

Have you thought how much we could learn from kids? For me, they are our teachers. They remind us what we have forgotten and they cue us that we have taken our own self and life too seriously.

I love observing Mimi, when she eats. On her plate, everything is cut in really small pieces. She enjoys each bite, as if she just received a present. She takes a bite and places it her mouth. She closes her eyes, just like we do when we feel pleasure. As if she doesn’t need to see it. All she needs is to feel it. Then she chews slowly, with a huge smile on her face.

She could eat 1 apple… all day long – in small bites. She eats some, then she starts playing and later she comes back for another bite. If she is full and you are on your knees, asking her to eat a couple more bites, she will refuse. Yes, kids do not eat when they are full. They stop and they do not overeat. When she is hungry, nothing could make her mood better, until you give her an opportunity to eat.

Lesson 6: Eating is an experience. Eating is a pleasure and as such, it should have a measure – if we eat too much, then we don’t feel pleasure; if we do not eat enough, the pleasure is lost again!

Lesson 7: Kids are always in shape, because they are constantly moving – they jump, run, crawl. Kids are always fit because when they are tired – they rest. A kid that is tired, will always sit or go to sleep. Kids know that a champion is born, when he rests.

These are my mentors. The teachers who taught me more than any textbook or fitness guru. Think about it! I am sure that there is a bunch of them around you. Just observe them. People who are around us and people who always possess what we need. And they are willing to give it freely to us. Just observe them more!

If you enjoyed this post and find it helpful or inspiring, share it with your friends. Somebody might need it. Help the words, reach him. :)

IFS Podcats #4: Galina Denzel and The Art of Real Movement

InspiredFitSTrong.com

My guest today is one of those people who share a piece of themselves and their knowledge and thus gift us an opportunity- the opportunity to reinvent our own self and recover our health and then keep on living, free to fulfill our potential. I have the pleasure to welcome Galina Ivanova Denzel. She is a health specialist, fitness expert and for the past couple years she has been a Restorative Movement specialist.

But titles doesn’t mean anything, unless we get the spice of the personality and I can’t wait to hear what Galia has to share with us today.


Some of the topics we discuss in the podcast:

- how to become fitter and healthier after the holidays

-why exercise is not enough movement;

-how a person could eat more; train less and still be in the best shape of his life;

-how to improve your breathing and how asthma could be improved with the right type of movement;

-lower back pain and pregnancy 

- the importance of breastfeeding, in jaw development

-how every degenerative disease has a mechanical component and how it can be reversed through movement

- how the function of the organs is dependent on the state of muscles 

More about Galia:

Here you will find more information about Galia- http://www.galinadenzel.com/

Thank you for sharing this post through the social buttons below.

 

Workout In The Snow: 5 Amazing Fat-Burning Intervals

snow workout

Being fit isn’t hard. Everything you need is a desire and a little bit creativity. We need to let go of excuses and be more flexible. A lot of people think that they can’t be fitter, because they can’t train in a gym – they don’t have time, money or there isn’t a gym close to their home. The best workouts happen without special equipment – with some rocks, woods, trees, sleds and so forth.

Monica and I, might be older, but when it comes to our souls we are still 7 years old. That’s why we went to enjoy the snow and play with sleds. We decided to do some quick intervals with the sled. This workout is appropriate for everybody and especially for parents who have kids. Thus, your kid will enjoy your workout and you will find time to get fitter.

Go outside and repeat 4-5 times each of the intervals and I guarantee you that you will have a great workout in a really short time.

The Most Delicious Healthy Pancake: Coconut Pancake Jovaylo

кокосова палачинка

The most delicious recipes, are created on a Sunday morning or on a day when you have a rest and you allow the day to happen by itself – without rushing it. A day, when you wake up and you decide that food is not just a mean to satisfy your physical needs, but also a mean to help you use your imagination, to experiment and create something that brings pleasure to all your sensations. That’s what happened with this recipe. Every time a man steps in the kitchen, a masterpiece is born. The pancakes Jovaylo, were created when Ivaylo decided to cook my coconut pancakes. Both of us love pumpkin and he decided to grate some pumpkin and add it to the coconut pancakes. The combination and the taste is unique. I sincerely encourage you to try them.

Ingredients for 3 pancakes:

3 eggs

40 grams coconut flakes

100-150 grams grated pumpkin

100 ml. coconut milk

1 table spoon honey

butter for the pan

vanilla extract

a handful of walnuts

cinnamon

Directions:

1.Whip the eggs. Add vanilla, coconut flakes, grated pumpkin, honey and milk. Stir till you get a homogeneous mixture.

2.Grease the pan. With a dipper scoop from the mixture and spread it in the pan. Bake on both sides.

3.Then sprinkle the pancakes with walnuts and cinnamon and enjoy a delicious breakfast.

Personally, I eat them without the honey, but it depends on your taste.

What are your favorite recipes with coconut and pumpkin? Share them in the comments below!

  FREE E-Book- 30 Exercises on Becoming a Wonder Woman. ИЗТЕГЛЕТЕ Я ТУК.

Double Chocolate Cookies ( Grain Free)

Daniela-desert

One of the great women I coach, besides a strong and athletic women is a great example for a mother and wife. Today, her husband had a birthday and she made this delicious dessert. I couldn’t resist sharing it with you. Here is the original source of the recipe( Detoxinista.com).

Ingredients:

1 cup creamy almond butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup honey
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or a Silpat. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl, and mix until a smooth and sticky batter is formed. Drop the batter by tablespoons onto the lined baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 8-9 minutes at 350F, or until firm.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes on the pan, before removing to cool completely.

Fit After The Holidays: 7 Easy Tips That Will Help You Get Back On Track with Your Diet

dinner1

Снимка: lecremedelacrumb.com

I wish that this type of posts were unnecessary. Still, I would fool myself, if I suggest that everybody ate, extremely, healthy during the holidays; that everybody ate enough, without indulging and overeating. I am sure that if you are reading this post, you make enough efforts, in order to be healthy and fit. Still, if your old habits have sneaked in and you have lost it, now it is time to substitute them with habits that make your body and mind feel better.

Many of you, probably think that everything has gone to waste. Such a mindset, often lengthens the period of time, when you wander about what to eat and if there is point in doing something different. Before I continue, I will tell you that there is a point in everything. Two or three days chaotic eating, won’t wipe out what you have achieved until now. If the year has 365 days, do you really think that 2-3 days will have such a tremendous influence? What matters is what you choose to do from now on! A step backwards, is sometime a speed up to a jump forward.

Have a positive outlook on everything. Usually, in days when we lose it, we get to realize how far we have gone and how great we felt with our new lifestyle and how nothing from the past is worth its price. Compromising with feeling good, is not worth the one hour of indulgence.

Did You Overeat During The Holidays? Let’s Fix The Consequences!

Don’t do cleansing days! Here is what you should do!

The most important thing is to calm down your mind. Until you are feeling like failure and until you feel a sense of guilt, nothing is gonna change. We are those who give meaning to the situations. Actually, what has happened is that you have eaten more and you ate foods which do not make you feel the way you’d like to feel. This is just a fact and not something good or bad.

Leave this fact in the past and move forward.

Physiology is what creates our thoughts and vice versa. The mind and the body are connected. When we eat bad food, the body in one way or another suffers and this is reflected on our thoughts and feelings.

That’s why the most important thing is to leave yesterday behind and start over today.

IMPORTANT! Do not make cleansing diets, don’t starve yourself and don’t deprive yourself in order to neutralize what you have eaten yesterday! Do not exhaust, yourself, with workouts.

None of this helps. This is just another extreme which will force you to pay the price later on.

Start today, as if nothing has happened yesterday. Eat as much as you would eat on a regular day.

What and How Much Should I Eat?

Aim to eat about four times. In every meal, you should have a source of protein, cars and fats. I know that you have a hard time to determine the quantities of food you should eat, that’s why I will give you a simple direction.

For men: The protein should be with the size of two palms, carbs with the size of two fists and fats with the size of four times your thumb.

For women: Protein should be with the size of one palm, carbs with the size of a fist and fats with the size of two times your thumb.

When you are not eating healthy, nutritious food, your body gets dehydrated and it needs more water. That’s why you should emphasize on liquids – water and homemade tea. If you have a hard time drinking more water, add lemon juice. It makes water easier to drink.

After food indulgence, the enzymes which help you digest food, run out. You know that we are not what we eat, but what we absorb. If you want your body to feel full, then you’d like to have enough enzymes, which will help your digestion. That’s why my advice is to buy enzymes and take them during the next 3-4 days.

Our health is just as good, as the state of our digestive system. Overeating is a stress for it. That’s why we should make the effort to recover the balance in our gut. This could happen through the so called probiotics or good bacteria. During the next couple days, add more fermented foods to your meals – homemade yogurt, kombucha, kefir and so forth ( read the Bible of Food Intolerances HERE)

Every time when I happen to eat more, I somehow instinctively crave something sour, something fermented. Your body cues you what you need.

The other “elixir”, which should improve your digestion is bone stock. Do you remember how our mothers and grandmas always insisted on feeding us stocks for lunch? I’ve written a lot about bone broths and the benefits of them. I assure you that they will help you get back on track.

What matters is, please, do not cut out the amount of fat you eat. It is an underestimated fact, but cholesterol suppresses appetite. That’s why when we eat something, which contains fat, we feel full faster. Everything in our body comes up to information. If the body feels full, then it will give an information that it doesn’t need more food. That’s why if your meals contain good fats, then the body will ask you to stop eating. So do not cut off the fat!

What You Should NOT DO:

1.Don’t starve!

2.Don’t eat just veggies. This will make you feel bloated while your body is still undernourished and starving.

3.Don’t just drink liquids. Satiety is a process. Eating is a process, as well! Chewing is required if you want to absorb your food and give the right information to your brain. Absorbing food, starts from your mouth.

4.Don’t train until exhaustion, in order to spend more energy.

5.Don’t consciously decrease the amount of food you eat, trying to compensate for overeating.

What You Should Do?

1.Eat 3-4 times!

2.With every meal, you should have protein, carbs and fats.

For men: The protein should be with the size of two palms, carbs with the size of two fists and fats with the size of four times your thumb.

For women: Protein should be with the size of one palm, carbs with the size of a fist and fats with the size of two times your thumb.

3.Emphasize on drinking more water.

4.Take some enzymes for the next 3-4 days.

5.Add more fermented foods to your meals – homemade yogurt, kombucha, kefir.

6.Add bone stock.

7.Eat good fats.

How would your meals look like?

Meal 1: eggs, stewed veggies, avocado

Meal 2: Pork steak, salad and olives + 1 tea cup bone stock.

Meal 3: Homemade yogurt, cinnamon and coconut ( you might skip this meal. Eat only if you are hungry between lunch and dinner).

Meal 4: Fish, veggie, avocado ( add a fermented drink or vegetable)

*During the next couple days, take an enzyme with every meal.

What Did I Forget?

Don’t forget movement! Our body works optimally, when it is moving.

You do not need to exhaust yourself with cardio, This will once again stress out your body. My advice is to go to the gym and have an intense workout with weights. Then, go back home and eat good, real food. It is completely normal, after you’ve eaten crappy food, that you will feel lethargic and lack motivation to move. Use your will and get yourself o the gym. Do this:

5х5 Front Squat

Push- ups 5х5

Hip Thrusters 3х8 with 5 second hold in the upper phase

One Arm Crossover Pull Down 3×8

Full Contact Twist 3×8

Rest 1minute between sets.

Download my Free E-Book in order to see how to perform the exercises PROPERLY!

The weather is wonderful, so go out for a walk. If you do not have an opportunity to go to the gym, check out some of the exercises I suggested last week.

-kettlebell workouts(watch the video HERE)

-body weight workouts (watch the video HERE)

-Hill Drills

- Workout with a resistance band

Leave a comment below and share the difficulties you encounter with your diet after the holidays.

The Christmas Workout Is Rescued: The Exercises That Help Me Stay Fit Everywhere

Една снимка от вчера :)

A picture from yesterday :)

If you are reading this, then you have a huge hug and a high five from me. This means you are a motivated, determined person, who doesn’t use excuses, but finds solutions. The solution to traveling a lot during the holidays is moving more in all kind of ways. If you’ve missed the first two parts of the exercise series, below you will find the kettlebell workouts, the body weight workouts and the workouts with a resistance band. Today, it is time for the last part – hill drills. Go outside and get moving!

In the last posts, I  shared videos for:

-kettlebell workouts(watch the video HERE)

-body weight workouts (watch the video HERE)

- Workout with a resistance band

I will be waiting for you to share your results during the holidays!

My Personal Confession: My Own Struggle with The Holidays and The Abundance of Food

news_775

Christmas is coming! The tables are covered with food. Since childhood, we are used to associating holidays with a lot of food… a variety of it. We have turned the abundance of meals in something like a sign that Christmas will e good and that we have enough.

If you are making efforts, during the year, to change your lifestyle, then holidays are a true test for what you have achieved. It is easy to keep up with a certain decision when you are in controlled conditions – when there isn’t any temptations around and your choices are a piece of cake. It gets difficult when you are surrounded by desserts, that have that smell of cinnamon and walnuts. It is difficult when you are surrounded by homemade bread, that smells of hot, melted butter and spices.

You have one plate in front of yourself and you want to try everything. You find it hard to resist this food, until the moment you make a decision and you make your own choice. When a person has a goal, which is based on his inner values and convictions, it doesn’t matter what happens in the world around him – he has already made his choice and nothing could make him hesitate.

If you are afraid of holidays or to be more precise from the food during the holidays… DON’T WORRY! I used to be there! I used to feel the same way. When I started following a nutrition plan, I used to hate holidays. There was a period, when I really wanted to avoid every birthday, every Easter and every Christmas. Everything was just fine, until the moment the holiday lunch or dinner came… and I lost it all.

It felt as if another self was coming back and was pitching into the food. Nothing else mattered, besides trying everything – in big quantities and a couple helpings. Such an indulgence, led to a disappointment and just another try to punish myself. This used to spin me into an enchanted circle of indulgence, deprivation and binging. It turned out like this – binging on Christmas, then deprivation and on New Year Eve- binging again.

I used to be afraid of food or actually of the way it provoked me to behave. I was dying to be around food and put just quality food on my plate. I wanted to be able to enjoy every bite and not be overwhelmed with the variety of foods.  I wanted to eat what tasted good, but in adequate quantities. Why couldn’t I eat just one piece of dessert, and even though I felt satiety I used to eat 3-4 pieces? Why couldn’t I take a small piece of bread, but instead I took a couple pieces from each grain meal?

I used to detest the fact, that on every holiday, instead of feeling great and happy, I felt bad – both physically and mentally. I felt bloated, sluggish and tired. When you feel bad physically, you don’t have strength and desire to enjoy something else.

Was this really the meaning of the holidays? To satisfy my greedy mind and leave my soul and body starving for something deeper!

I spent a couple years in this enchanted circle and a couple days before one Christmas I woke up and I said to myself, that this year will be different. I decided that this is just food and I cannot be afraid of it.

The decisions, choices and actions were in my own hands. I am the one choosing what and how much I will eat. My emotions and my thoughts are under my own control. Everything that I had to do was be more conscious. I wasn’t supposed to allow emotions to control me like a doll on strings.

After all is it normal to feel overwhelmed and nervous because of the fact that there is abundance of food?

I decided that I will sit for the holiday lunch and I will be thankful for the abundance, I will choose what I good for me and what will make my feel satiety and satisfaction by the blend of tastes while in  the same time it will make my body and soul feel great.

Actually, we value the taste of something when it is in smaller quantities. When we have a pile of food in the plate, we are eating for the sake of it. When there is less, then we eat with more attention, attitude and mindfulness. We experience every bite. Actually, satiety is not just in food, but in the way we eat. Whether we feel satiety or not, depends on the experience of eating. Mindful eating and attitude towards the food are the key.

Actually, do you know how I love explaining my success? You know that I am a fan of the fact that we are dependent on nature and nature’s laws! By law, everything strives for chaos. If we achieve something, we should either make enough effort to sustain it or a little bit more in order to move forward. If we just give in to every caprice of the mind, then we are in the rage of the chaos.

That’s why, do not fool yourself that we achieve one state of being and that through slacking we will keep being there. Actually, everything comes down to the conscious decision in every moment. Every day, we should wake up and make the vital minimum, in order to keep moving or at least in order to sustain what we have. Our mind loves getting attached to different things. It loves getting identified and associating. Free yourself from the chains of your mind and be conscious.

I remember this Christmas. We were sitting around the table and my grandma has made my FAVORITE dessert. I used to love it and I used to eat all of it at one. It was right in front of me and my first thought was: “Who cares, it is Christmas! Eat it!” Then, I told myself that eating it won’t change anything! Did I really need to eat it in order to feel happy? Isn’t there another way to call back the emotion I was hungry for?

How eating the whole dessert, would bring more meaning to my day and night? It wouldn’t! During the whole evening I stared at the plate in front of me and there was an inner fight. I felt as if I was gonna be deprived from something. I felt as if somebody took away from me, something that I deserved. I kept telling myself that the dessert could be made all year round and that this evening, I have chosen to eat something else – something that made me feel great.

Thus, after my conscious presence, while my mind was trying to take the lead, I didn’t eat the dessert. I didn’t eat a lot of things. Actually I ate just enough. I got off the table and I felt great, because my body didn’t suffer. I didn’t feel stuffed and bloated. I even had energy to go outside and walk, late at night, enjoying the streets covered in snow. I was walking and I was thinking that it is so great to feel wonderful on Christmas!

Since then, every holiday is special – not with the abundance of food, but with the fact that I am surrounded by an abundance, which I value. Nowadays I consider food to be an art, care, hard work and time. Now I know how much time it takes my grandma to prepare the dinner; the emotions she invests and the art she creates. Now I can observe biscuits and admire their perfect forms, their decoration – but I don’t feel the need to binge on them.

Now, when it comes to eating, holidays are just another day, when I sit around the table and I put on my plate just enough to feel full. What is special is that unlike other days, now I will be surrounded by my loved once. Why would I allow myself to waste precious moments with them? Why would I feel bad and complain how I overate and waste the time with them?

The rich, abundance of food during the holidays is not a green light to indulge. The abundance during the holidays is just a symbol of care, time and solitude. Respect is in our attitude, and the joy of what is served and not by food indulgence for the sake of it.

Let this Christmas be different!

Burn Fat Everywhere: Holiday Workout with a Resistance Band)

Image source: http://www.shape.com/

Image source: http://www.shape.com/

If you are reading this, then you have a huge hug and a high five from me. This means you are a motivated, determined person, who doesn’t use excuses, but finds solutions. The solution to traveling a lot during the holidays is moving more in all kind of ways. If you’ve missed the first two parts of the exercise series, below you will find the kettlebell workouts and the body weight workouts. Today, it is time for the third part – workouts with a resistance band. Take out your band and get moving!

In the next posts, I will share videos for:

-kettlebell workouts(watch the video HERE)

-body weight workouts (watch the video HERE)

- hill drills

I will be waiting for you to share your results during the holidays!

Holiday Workouts: Stay Fit While Traveling (Part 2 Body weight)

anna-renderer

The holidays are here. They are an occasion to get out of our daily routine and leave the boundaries, where we usually stuff our life. This often places us in situations, that challenge us.Situations, where the habits which we have abandoned, make their way back. This is completely true when it comes to working out and healthy nutrition.

That’s why I decided to share with you a series of exercises, which you could do no matter where you are. I decided to divide them, so depending on your environment and equipment or lack of it, you could still choose a combination of exercises which could help you get moving.

Don’t forget that a healthy lifestyle is not about working out in the gym, but about moving more and using our bodies up to their potential.

The second set of exercises is body weight workouts. Our body is our 24 hours gym. It is with us all the time and it is our best set of equipment. That’s why we never have an excuse to be sedentary. Watch the video with the body weight exercises and get moving.

In the next posts, I will share videos for:

-kettlebell workouts

-workouts with a resistance band

- hill drills

I will be waiting for you to share your results during the holidays!